In a region famous for its Nebbiolo-based wines, several varietals don’t get the attention they deserve, and this is one. Pelaverga is an ancient cultivar native to the Langhe, once planted alongside Barbera and Nebbiolo, but whose fortunes waned in the 20th century.
Starting in the 1970s, single vineyards of the piccolo clone were planted in the fertile, hilly area around Verduno. The DOC zone remains small but productive.
This version displays all the varietal characteristics: a cherry red color resembling cranberry juice; scents of red berries and roses; a lightness atypical for a wine of 14% alcohol; refreshing acidity with notes of pepper and anise; and an arresting sensation of the interplay between bitter and sweet.
No one will put down a Barbaresco in favor of this obscure beauty, but trying it reinforces the incredible breadth and diversity of Italian wines. Check out our blog for more wine reviews.