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2011 Monsecco Colline Novaresi Pratogrande Nebbiolo 

Piemonte, Italy

Retail $25-$28

Located in the northwest corner of Italy at the foothills of the Alps, Piedmont is one of the world's greatest wine regions and offers a favorable climate for this bold wine's grapes, the varietal Nebbiolo. The vineyards cover a small territory encompassing the Novara hills and the banks of the Sesia River, where the vines thrive on the porous terrain rich in mineral salts. The growing season is lengthy, with harvest usually in mid-October when the grapes have the correct balance of sugar development, color intensity, acidity and high concentrations of aromatics. The wine undergoes a short maceration, then vinification and malolactic fermentation, after which it is racked into oak barrels for up to 24 months, followed by a year of bottle aging. In the glass, this elegant and complex wine exhibits aromas of dried cherries, leather, fresh forest notes and mushrooms. On the palate, dark cherries, spice, cedar, a pleasant minerality, textured tannins, and a nice acidity lead into a lingering finish. Drink now and over the next six to eight years, as this is a good wine for cellaring. Decant an hour or so before serving. A great companion for truffled cheese, meats, pasta and stuffed vegetables. Buy it at: Keife & Co., Hopper's Carte des Vins, Faubourg Wines and Bin 428. Drink it at: Cochon, Marcello's Restaurant and Wine Bar and Kyoto Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant.

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