Wine Review: 2003 Ascheri Nebbiolo D’alba San Giacomo

2003 Ascheri Nebbiolo D'alba San Giacomo

Our First Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is a noble grape variety used mostly in the creation of “The King of Wines,” Barolo. Barolos are required to be made of 100% Nebbiolo, which means that any wine, even if it is made up of 99% Nebbiolo and 1% Cabernet, cannot be a Barolo.

More often than not, these are simply called “Nebbiolo,” as is the case with the 2003 Ascheri Nebbiolo D’alba San Giacomo.

Nebbiolo grapes are very finicky and difficult to grow, so it follows that they remain difficult even once they are in the bottle. Barolos and Nebbiolos need a long time to mature (15-20 years in most cases) and even if you wait a long time, they still need to sit out for awhile once opened. Young Nebbiolo wines often taste far too tannic and have weak color.


For only 6 years old, this wine is maturing quickly. Though not a Barolo, the color characteristics are unmistakeable. A fresh red, not too deep, but showing copper on the edges, a sure sign of a maturing Nebbiolo.


Explosive, but contained. The nose is full of brown sugar, some red currant, strawberry and dusty roses. Smells fantastic.


Very complex for an Italian Nebbiolo from Alba. The tart red fruit really comes through here, with the strawberries really standing out. Also, we have a flavor we haven’t seen yet since the site began: Marzipan. In case you don’t know, marzipan is a sugar and almond confection that is used to make little shapes that usually go on cakes. The wine brings marzipan on the finish, and it goes for quite awhile. There is not a single hollow point in this one. Delicious all around.

With Food

To put it bluntly, we suggest you enjoy this on its own. A wine this well-crafted should really be savored. If you absolutely HAVE to eat something with it, try a lamb, beef or ostrich dish made with a wine sauce.

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