I remember asking Breaux Vineyards founder and owner, Paul Breaux, how he stumbled upon Piedmont’s most famous grape. After a trip to the region in Italy, Paul fell in love with their Barolo wines and knew immediately he wanted to plant Nebbiolo upon his return. One of only two wineries in Virginia that grows the variety (the other being Barboursville Vineyards), Breaux consistently produces age-worthy, complex expressions of the grape. Quite the feat, especially when you consider how finicky the grape can be, even in Italy.
Since first sampling Breaux’s Nebbiolo during a tasting several years back, I’ve had the pleasure of tasting a number of vintages, with 2001 and the 2006 Barrel Select (a cellar selection) topping my list. After opening the 2005 vintage, I now have a new fav.
The Breaux Vineyards 2005 Nebbiolo retails for $72 and is available for purchase online. The wine welcomes you with aromas of dark plum, spice and tobacco. Flavors of raspberry, black cherry, spice and a hint of oak develop on the palate. Solid tannins and good acidity make this a difficult wine to set down. If you’re lucky enough to own a few bottles, you will be rewarded with patience, as this wine has a long life ahead.