When you think of Piedmont, its world-class reds — Barolo and Barbaresco — naturally come to mind. But Piedmont has got some lesser-known whites that are worth giving a swirl. Here are some great white options from Piedmont.
The rare nascetta white grape variety, likely related to vermentino, is indigenous to Piemonte and was only recently saved from extinction. Nascetta delivers full-bodied, even unctuous wines, with flavors of wildflowers, white peach, herbs, honey, sage, salt and mineral. Despite their rich characters, these wines possess sufficient structuring acidity to maintain their balance, making them pair well with seafood. As of 2010, the grape variety can be labeled with the Langhe DOC indication. Nascetta is yet another little-known, low production white gem from Piedmont!
The timorasso grape variety is planted in the Colli Tortonesi DOC (the hills around the town of Tortona) on the eastern edge of Piemonte. Brought back from near extinction by winemaker Walter Massa, this grape variety is making a comeback among wine aficionados (although less than 100 hectares are under vine). The thick-skinned timorasso grape yields massive white wines with distinctive creaminess, although they have sufficient acidity to achieve balance. Flavors on the palate include candied fruit, toasted hazelnuts, honey, spice, bitter mountain herbs, and mineral. Timorasso’s full-bodied character allows it to pair with dishes that most other whites simply cannot, such as poultry, pork, and even veal, smoked meats, and sausages. This rare white is worth seeking out for lovers of big, powerful whites that are looking for a new favorite!
The arneis variety is Piedmont’s finest white. Arneis-based wines offer low acidity, coupled with a rather strong floral- and fruit-driven palate (including apricots, peaches, and pears); you may also get an edge of smokiness and a streak of minerality. Due to the grape’s relatively obscurity outside of Italy, these wines are often great values. Arneis is a perfect accompaniment to heavier pasta dishes. Arneis reaches its greatest heights in the Roero Arneis DOC area.
The erbaluce grape, indigenous to the Caluso zone of Piedmont, produces wines of high acidity, with delicate flavors of wildflowers and green apple, coupled with a distinctive minerality. Wines based on this grape are ideal for simply grilled fish. Erbaluce also makes for very tasty sweet and sparkling wines. The erbaluce is a rare variety, made to consistently high standards, and is definitely worth trying for the experience; it could become one of your favorites.
Note: All of these descriptions are taken directly from the AG Wine app.
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