M.A. Monticelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2016

Nebbiolo|Piedmont, Italy

Baby Barolo from incredible vineyards! The "Langhe" designation has long been a source of stupendously-valued Nebbiolo that drinks early and beautifully, but not all Langhe are the same – it pays to know the source. Anna Monticelli's wines are some of the best we've found, and this 2016 beauty comes from jaw-dropping terroir.

An Italian, residing part time in Napa, she has collaborated with winemaking luminaries across the world including the famed Philippe Melka and at Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux. This project is a collaboration between her and the noble house of Franco Conterno, son of the legend Giacomo Conterno, located in the rugged, much-desired Monforte d'Alba subregion of Barolo.

The vineyard sources for this humble Langhe Nebbiolo are some of the most coveted in the region: Panerole and Bussia. These two sites have been in the Conterno family for generations; Daniele and his son Franco farm them entirely organically and are firmly traditionalist in nature, letting the terroir speak for itself. The Bussia vineyard is about as close as it gets to a "Grand Cru" site in Barolo.

Medium-weight, with loads of exotic perfume and that classic "tar and roses" bouquet. Bright strawberry-kissed red fruits and all sorts of flowery vibes, like violets, crushed rose petals, carnation, sour cherry, and subtle earthy spices. Delicate, aromatic, yet with a subtle grip and a kiss of sun-dappled earth. Positively lovely.

There's so much to like here. From the fantastic 2016 vintage, to the pristine, hands-off winemaking, and the incredible vineyards that go into it. Conterno's "Panerole" vineyard Barolo 2016 goes for literally twice the price, if you can find it. Same fruit here, plus the incredible Bussia vineyard.

The wine critic Jeb Dunnuck says of the wine, it "tastes more like a base Barolo than a Langhe Nebbiolo. Buy a case and enjoy it over the coming decade." We couldn't agree more!

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