Marchesi di Barolo, Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy) “Sbirolo” 2020

($26, Frederick Wildman and Sons Ltd.):  The name of this wine, Sbirolo, which means someone with an extroverted personality in the local dialect, describes the wine perfectly.  A more succinct translation is “rascal.”  This Sbirolo is expressive and in-your-face in a very nice way.  By law, Langhe Nebbiolo must be made entirely from that grape and so at first glance you’d think the notorious Nebbiolo tannins would make it astringent.  Not so.  The tannins are hardly noticeably — just enough to provide needed balance — amidst the lively succulent fruitiness.  Brilliant acidity keeps it fresh.  This is a great introduction to the charm of Nebbiolo — a Nebbiolo on training wheels — and would be ideal for any hearty tomato-based pasta or grilled meats.
91 Michael Apstein Mar 15, 2022