Home to Barolo and Barbaresco, Piedmont’s Langhe hills make some of Italy’s most celebrated, age-worthy and pricey wines. If you know where to look (and who to see) you’ll also find a host of delicious values that don’t require decades of cellaring (or a second mortgage) to enjoy. Wines like Villa dei Ladri – a clever blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera, aged 12 months in large oak casks and brought to you by Barolo ace Claudio Manera.
Nebbiolo represents just 3% of plantings in Piedmont and produces the region’s most sought-after reds, from the twin towns of Barolo and Barbaresco. Notoriously tricky to grow, it’s often likened to Pinot Noir and can produce reds of similar aromatic complexity. Rose petals, tar and licorice are all notes to look for. Barbera has long played second fiddle to Nebbiolo, and is only just starting to gain the respect it deserves. It’s often billed as the grape Barolo makers drink at home – and it brings a lovely, redfruit vibrancy to this classic Langhe Rosso.