Possibly the greatest of Italian grapes and certainly the longest-lived. Nebbiolo grows almost exclusively in the northwestern reaches of the peninsula, most notably Piedmont, where it thrives in the DOCGs Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo ripens very late (usually mid October) and when fully ripe has abundant amounts of flavor, aroma, acidity and tannins. Traditional examples of Barolo and Barbaresco can take decades to reach maturity. Young and less distinct examples are usually full of fresh red fruit and violets, whereas older and better forms have notes ranging from black fruits to truffles to an ethereal rose quality hard to find in any other wine on earth.
The best Nebbiolo comes from Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piedmont region. Lighter examples of Nebbiolo d'Alba and just Langhe Nebbiolo can be quite pleasant if not the powerhouse that is Barolo. Fine Nebbiolo can also be found in Gattinara, Ghemme and Carema under the synonyms of Spanna, Chiavannasca and Picutener. Although attempts have been made to grow Nebbiolo in California success has been fleeting at best.