The gentle, sandy hills of the Roero lie immediately north of the Tanaro and therefore are on the wrong side of the tracks as far as Barolo and Barbaresco are concerned. I poked around this region a few times back in the early 90s and was thoroughly underwhelmed until I met Marco Porello. Before it was awarded DOCG status the Roero was terra incognito but that’s the case no longer as prices for the more fashionable wines of the Langhe skyrocket. Bargain hunters take note: Marco is familiar with every inch of his vineyards and crafts wines with a genuine sense of place for little more than pocket money.
The Arneis is grown in the sandy soils near Vezza and shows zesty citrus notes of Seville orange and grapefruit underpinned with stony acidity. The Barbera, from the hills behind the cellars in Canale, is bright, cherry-scented and as good value as ever whilst the Nebbiolo offers a textbook example of this grape with a finely-judged blend of dusty tannins and fresh acidity. Come Spring, watch out for the refreshing Birbet, a fizzy red from the Brachetto grape. A Piemonte specialty best described as “Red Asti”!
Barbera d'Alba DOC 'Mommiano'
Langhe Nebbiolo DOC
Roero Arneis DOCG 'Camestri'
Birbet Vino da Tavola