How to use this guide:
1. Read the previews of each blog post.
2. Click the title links to read the entire post.
3. Become an expert in the Northern Rhone.
4. Follow the links in each post to purchase some NR wines.
5. Become a lover of the Northern Rhone.
(It's that easy!)
For years, Cornas was just another “value” village of the Northern Rhone, with a reputation more like St. Joseph, say, than Cote Rotie or Hermitage. It was deemed “rustic” and a source for “country” wine. Things have changed!
This is a story of a vicious cycle finally flipping a switch to become virtuous.
What is Riesling?
Riesling is a noble white grape that makes aromatic white wines.
Riesling grapes make a huge range of still, white wines ranging from bone-dry to unctuously sweet. Riesling is famously good at giving a taste of the terroir in which it is grown. So, for example, Riesling grown in France’s Alsace region will taste very different from Riesling grown in Germany.
- Don’t forget the weather: sunny and dry. Greece enjoys an incredibly high annual number of sun hours, a feature that not only attracts German tourists but also makes it possible for grapes to ripen even at the high altitudes necessary for good acid/fruit balance in the grapes. This is also a very dry and windy country, which means much less disease pressure than in, say, Bordeaux, and so a relatively easy path to organic farming.
They are both made 100% from Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe. But Barolo and Barbaresco are clearly not the same wine.
What's the difference?
The easy answer is the legal one: Barolo and Barbaresco are two different DOCs. They are located in slightly different parts of the Langhe (see the map above).
There are slightly different rules that they have to follow -- for example Barolos have to be aged for 38 months, of which at least 18 months are in barrel, while Barbaresco only requires 26 months, of which 9 must be in barrel. Barolos have to hit 13% alcohol and Barbarescos only 12.5%.
I guess that sort of thing is great to know for your WSET exam, but it doesn't get you into the heart and soul of how these wines are distinct. Hopefully this list of five key differences will help you do that: