Wine of the week: a simply sublime nebbiolo

With one of the most regal and plush palates imaginable, this is a vinous work of art.

2016 Marchesi Alfieri

2016 Marchesi Alfieri, Costa Quaglia Nebbiolo, Piemonte, Italy

(£28, Decorum Vintners, 020-8969 6581, decvin.com)

I have long been a fan of Barbera d’Asti La Tota from the exceptional Marchesi Alfieri estate and the new 2018 vintage is a stunner (£18.95, decvin.com). In fact, this wine has kept me so satiated over the years that I have never ventured further into this starry portfolio. That was until a few weeks ago when I opened a bottle of 2016 Costa Quaglia and it was a eureka moment like no other in this lockdown year. I will remember this revelation as the strongest thread of nebbiolo connecting me to the region that I was prevented from visiting in 2020 thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With one of the most regal and plush palates imaginable, but one which takes a full hour to unravel in a decanter, this is a vinous work of art. Firm, dark and dusty when first opened, the velvety fruit starts to appear and then gathers unstoppable momentum, smoothing out and eventually hypnotising your senses. The blackberry, black-cherry and rose-petal notes are sublime and the pliant, generous texture is sheer heaven. Aged for 15 months in 500-litre and two-year-old Allier barriques, it is this careful selection of both feisty and mellow oak which is the reason why this sumptuous nebbiolo is so decadent and also so refined. I bet if you were served it blind, you would stick a sky-high price tag on its flavour – I certainly would.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

Recommended

Budget 2021: Here is what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced
Budget

Budget 2021: Here is what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced

Rishi Sunak delivered his much anticipated Budget today. David Prosser explains what it means for you.
27 Oct 2021
How to invest as oil prices keep heading higher
Commodities

How to invest as oil prices keep heading higher

Oil prices are soaring reversing a sharp meltdown seen at the depths of the Covid-19 crisis. Saloni Sardana explores how you can play the market.
27 Oct 2021
When investors get over-excited, it’s time to worry – but we’re not there yet
Sponsored

When investors get over-excited, it’s time to worry – but we’re not there yet

When investors are pouring money into markets, it can be a warning sign of impending disaster, writes Max King. So how are fund flows looking right no…
26 Oct 2021
An investment trust that gives exposure to frontier markets
Investment trusts

An investment trust that gives exposure to frontier markets

An investment trust investing in small, illiquid emerging markets has disappointed, but deserves another chance, says Max King
26 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Properties for sale for around £1m
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £1m

From a stone-built farmhouse in the Snowdonia National Park, to a Victorian terraced house close to London’s Regent’s Canal, eight of the best propert…
15 Oct 2021
How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy
Energy

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy

The government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in? St…
8 Oct 2021
Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?
Emerging markets

Emerging markets: the Brics never lived up to their promise – but is now the time to buy?

Twenty years ago hopes were high for Brazil, Russia, India and China – the “Brics” emerging-market economies. But only China has beaten expectations. …
18 Oct 2021