Eugenio Bocchino, La Perucca Nebbiolo d’Alba, 2001
Region: Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, Piedmonte, Italy
All life is suffering. I didn’t say that, the Buddha said that. This being said, I think he failed to account for wine. All life is not suffering, sometimes there’s wine, and ice cream. Sometimes your sidekick comes over for dinner, you make some pasta and open a bottle of Nebbiolo. There is very little suffering involved here.
Nebbiolo is still one of my favorite grapes, a tough to grow, temperamental variety from northern Italy, known for complex fruit, flower and smoky flavors. I reviewed several examples of such wines already, this particular bottle is from the Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC. An appellation centered on the town of Alba, like other DOCs such as Barbera d’Alba or Dolcetto d’Alba. This is not a premium appellation for Nebbiolo, unlike Barbaresco or Barolo, but that will not stop us from drinking it
Eye: dark garnet with hints of brown
Nose: Clean, medium-plus intensity. Mostly red fruits (blackberries and cherries) with a hint of smokiness
Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium-plus body, very nice tannins and texture that hit the top of the palate.
Red fruits galore, mostly cherries and blackberries, sadly no trace of the smokiness that was present on the nose. A little bit lacking in acidity but the tannins make up for it as they are structured and smooth. The length is good but it remains a simple, red fruits oriented wine.
Food pairings: worked with pasta arrabiata
Overall opinion: I think it might have been a bit past its prime. It was perfectly drinkable and interesting if only for the tannins. It was disappointing in the sense that you really don’t get any of the Nebbiolo’s complexity. I need to try a younger vintage to investigate.