Germano Angelo “Visette” | 538 Wine Notes
2013 LANGHE, NEBBIOLO, 2013
In the foreground of the distant Italian Alps, the UNESCO world-heritage Langhe Hills offer a view of steep, undulating terrain decorated with stunning, ancient architecture and a patchwork of vineyards that produce some of Italy’s most sought-after wines. Founded in 1908, the Germano Angelo Winery and Estate has always been family owned and operated for well over a century now. Today, Germano Angelo's greatgrandson, David Angelo, runs the estate with respect for tradition and continues to uphold the quality his ancestors established. These wines may be bottled as mere Langhe Nebbiolo, but don’t let the label fool you. Although Barolo may be produced in eleven communes, the five communes of La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Faletto, Serralunga d’Alba, and Monforte d’Alba account for more than 90% of DOCG production. This wine is sourced from three of the most celebrated vineyards, or crus, in the village of Barolo, because the family chooses to bottle only the oldest vines as Barolo DOCG. Although a bottle labeled as Langhe Nebbiolo can come from anywhere in the region, today’s wine boasts uncommon pedigree and hails from famed Germano Angelo’s prized vineyards from three villages located in Barolo: La Morra, Barolo itself, and Monforte d’Alba. 2 Traditionally, a wine labeled “Barolo” was made from a blend of different villages. Only sites with appropriate aspects can produce fully ripe Nebbiolo, and a division between soil types marks subtle differences in each commune’s wines. Tortonian soils, which contain a higher proportion of calcareous marl, characterize the vineyards of La Morra and Barolo and provide a softer style of wine. Serravallian (Helvetian) sandstone soils are more common in Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba and supply more structure in the wine. Blends were (and are) regarded to co-exist in order to bring out the best attributes in each wine. For example, in the Germano Angelo “Visette,” the Nebbiolo from La Morra and Barolo will offer more elegance and finesse while the Nebbiolo from Monforte d’Alba will provide more structure and tannin. Nowadays, single vineyard expressions are equally lauded showcasing specific terroir of the region. One is not better than the other, just different expressions and styles, ALL showcasing the best of Piemonte Nebbiolo.
As many of you already know, 2013 is regarded as an extraordinary vintage, a legend in the making. 2013 is compared to the highly lauded 2010, but with lower alcohol and greater elegance due to the large diurnal swings of temperature during the summer between the hot days and very cool nights. This leads to an even and steady ripening of the grapes and development of beautiful aromatics allowing for a later harvest with fully ripened tannins. This 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo displays a dark garnet core with slight orange and garnet reflections on the rim. The powerful and slightly spicy nose offers perfumed aromatics of red and black plum, redcurrant, cranberry and dried cherry woven into aromas of dried wildflowers, fennel, tar, crushed cacoa nib, mushroom, and a touch of vintage leather, finishing with spice and grip. For best results, decant for one hour and serve in Burgundy stems at 60-65 degrees or simply wait as this wine continues to evolve in your cellar over the next few years. Serve with a dish that has enough fats, like butter, cheese, and fat from meat to pair with the high acidity and tannins of the wine, think Pot Roast, Rib-Eye, Beef Tenderloin, Meat Ragu, any beef or veal dish with truffles, Braised Duck, Braised Pork Shank, Funghi Pizza, Prosciutto, fresh Burrata, Soft Triple-Cream cow’s milk cheese, Manchego, Pecorino, and Parmigiano.