Affordable nebbiolo wines to try

Spirits columnist Jason Wilson, who’s filling in for Dave McIntyre this week, recommends the following widely available nebbiolos. They are listed in order of preference.

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Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco 2007

Piemonte, Italy, $25

If you want to understand what nebbiolo is all about, try this beautiful wine. It’s really a “baby Barolo” at about a third of the price. Aromas of rose and berry, with silky tannins and lovely fruit on the finish.

Dalla Terra: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Cork Market. Available in Maryland at FineWine.com in Gaithersburg. Available in Virginia at Cecile’s Wine Cellar in McLean, Balducci’s in McLean and Alexandria, the Italian Store in Arlington, Whole Foods Market locations in Old Town and Tysons Corner.

Fay Sforzato di Valtellina 2006

Lombardy, Italy, $45

This is Alpine nebbiolo, notably different from Piemonte. It’s a cool customer: full-bodied, suave and elegant, with nice minerality on the finish.

Siema Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Cork & Fork in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at the Italian Store in Arlington, the Wine Cabinet in Reston.

De Forville Langhe Nebbiolo 2009

Piedmont, Italy, $23

Deep and satisfying, it has gripping tannins and complex flavors of tart cherry, licorice and raspberry. Lots of fruit on the finish.

Rosenthal Wine Merchant: Available in the District at Ace Beverage. Available in Virginia at Arrowine in Arlington, Au Domaine in Alexandria.

Lodali Nebbiolo d’Alba 2008

Piemonte, Italy $17

It’s bold, with nice acidity. Lots of earthy, funky aromas. Not as complex as a Barolo, but for a quarter of the price, you can still experience a hint of its power and structure.

Siema Wines: Available in the District at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Vineyards Elite in Pikesville, Calvert Wine & Spirits in Hunt Valley. Available in Virginia at the Italian Store in Arlington, Wine Cabinet in Reston, Whole Foods Market locations in Fairfax, Tysons Corner and Reston.

Mauro Sebaste Nebbiolo d’Alba “Parigi”

Piedmont, Italy, $18

Affable and drinkable, this nebbiolo wants to be your friend. Notes of fresh berry, violet and licorice. Good value, and great with a wide range of foods.

Saranty Imports: Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More locations in McLean, Fairfax, Alexandria, Sterling and Chantilly. Available in Maryland at Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson.

Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba 2008

Piedmont, Italy, $16

This is almost rust-colored, with a floral nose and hints of tobacco leaf. Chocolate and coffee on the nose, with dry tannins. A complex wine for the price.

Saranty Imports: Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More locations in McLean, Fairfax, Alexandria, Sterling and Chantilly. Available in Maryland at Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson.

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

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