Over the last few months I've been learning about and tasting a lot wines from Italy, who have to produce the broadest range of wines than anywhere else, which is hardly surprising when you think about the fact that they have over a 1,000 indigenous grape varieties.
I've always found Italian wines a little difficult, the reds always tend to have a slightly sour edge to them, which without food can make them difficult to really appreciate, but there was one that really stuck in my mind. That was the 2011 Carema Classico from Produttori del Carema, this is a cooperative that was formed in the 1960's by a handful of producers, to today where they now have 81 producers working together to produce this fantastic from 100% Nebbiolo.
Carema, the region in Northern Italy which gives it's name to this wine, is located 60 miles north of Turin in the Piemonte region, which is probably better for producing Barolo and Barbaresco also from the Nebbiolo grape.
They ferment the wine in 100% stainless steel vats, leaving the skins in contact with the wine for around 12 days, once complete they then age the wine for 2 years in Oak and then for a further year in bottle.When you pour this wine into your glass the first thing that strikes you is it's very pale ruby red colour, which is starting to develop hints of brick around it's edge. On the nose you get hit by a barrage of spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, then red berries that have been preserved in alcohol, These all come through in your mouth, with the red berries being very obviously sour cherry, with just a little more elegance and subtlety than i'd seen so far, but you also had some Raspberry coming through as well. Combine this with the spice and the plentiful silky tannins and all the components come together and produce an absolutely stunning wine that rivals anything for twice it's price from Barolo and Barbaresco for me.