Malvira Nebbiolo Riserva Trinita 2005



Barolo – the famous wine of Kings and King of wines. Built from the grape Nebbiolo, the King of wine casts its perfumed elegance and muscular structure across the world of wine, daring anyone to make a claim to the throne. And to this lover of Italian wines, nothing comes close.

However… bold lover of Nebbiolo that I am, certainly I can find joy in Nebbiolo from other regions. It would be foolish not to! Here’s why:

First, the best of the best Barolos take years, if not decades, to mature. I don’t mind waiting, but I do need something to drink right now. Second, Nebbiolo, just like Pinot, just like almost any other grape, tastes different from different regions of the world. And I prize this diversity because it draws out the grape’s beautiful individuality.

Finally, perfectly aged, buried treasure is one you have to search for, and the best gems are where others don’t know to look. Hence this pristinely aged bottle of Nebbiolo from Malvira, of all places.

Malvira is still Italian Nebbiolo. If you pinpoint the town of Alba on an Italian map, you’re in the heart of the Piedmont. Just 10 minutes outside to the south of Alba is Barolo. 10 minutes to the east is Barbaresco. And 10 minutes to the north… well… is Roero. Roero is a place, just like its famous brothers Barolo and Barbresco. Yet Roero’s soil is different, being on the north side of the geological epoch and river, with soils of clay and sand. Roero’s fame now rests on the lovely grape Arneis, but they are still in the heart of Nebbiolo country.

Roero Nebbiolo is no pretender to the throne, it’s just on a different throne. The combination of soil and grape give this Nebbiolo a perfumed elegance, a softer mid-palate with less assertive tannins, and a more mineral finish than a Barolo.

But make no mistake – we’re still drinking the wine of Kings. This is like saying Roero is the lightest of the heavyweight champs. It’s George Foreman smiling and grilling you a burger, rather than punching you in the face. And hey, George didn’t calm down until later in his career, and that is exactly where you are catching this sweet teddy bear of a Roero Nebbiolo.

Malvira is fourth-generation winery that grew from the great-grandfather’s farming of grapes. They specialize in single-vineyard Nebbiolo and Arneis, and they have the luxury (and cash flow) of holding some of their most precious bottles in their cellar, waiting until they are absolutely perfect for release.

This Trinita Riserva Nebbiolo from the 2005 vintage is now showing the gorgeous and stunning complexity of aged Nebbiolo. A savory nose of black truffles, mineral salts, caramelized onions and roasted duck with black cherries greats the imbiber. The palate is still fresh and lively, offering a delicious splash of refreshing tannins and mineral acidity. Its complexity is not to be deigned – this is a wine with immense gravitas. The echoes of time rebound in the glass with elegance and charm. For lovers of aged wine of any stripe, this is a bottle not to miss!

And amazingly, for this lover of Barolo on a budget, here is a perfectly mature Nebbiolo at an exceptional price. When I first learned what my offer would be on this bottle, I nearly choked on my sample in surprise. No, it’s not the cheapest wine in the world, but it’s one of our best deals ever.

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