WSET3 Palate Notes

Body - Medium,
Acid - High,
Tannin - High,
Alcohol - Medium to High.

Tastes Like: Tar, Roses, Cherry

Nebbiolo is considered one of Italy’s most noble grape varieties, primarily grown in the Piedmont region. It is renowned for producing some of the finest red wines in the world, including Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is known for its pale color, high acidity, and robust tannins, which contribute to its exceptional aging potential.

What You Can Expect to Taste and Smell?

Nebbiolo wines often display aromas of tar, roses, violets, and dried herbs. On the palate, expect flavors of cherry, raspberry, truffle, and licorice. The wines are characterized by their firm tannins, high acidity, and complex layers of flavor that develop with age.

Comparison of Cool vs Warm Climates

In cooler climates, Nebbiolo retains higher acidity, resulting in wines with more pronounced floral and mineral notes. Warmer climates can produce riper fruit flavors and softer tannins, though maintaining acidity is crucial for balance and longevity.

Key Regions and Name Some Appellations or Producers of Note

Key regions for Nebbiolo include:

  • Piedmont, Italy: Specifically Barolo and Barbaresco, renowned for their age-worthy wines.
  • Lombardy, Italy: Valtellina region, where Nebbiolo is known locally as Chiavennasca.
  • New Zealand: Growing interest in regions like Central Otago.

Notable producers:

  • Giacomo Conterno (Barolo, Italy)
  • Gaja (Piedmont, Italy)
  • Produttori del Barbaresco (Barbaresco, Italy)


Nebbiolo wines are famous for their longevity. Properly aged Barolo and Barbaresco can develop for decades in the cellar, evolving from robust and tannic to more elegant and complex with aromas of dried fruit, leather, and tobacco.

First Published: Monday, Jun 10, 2024 Last updated: Jun 10, 2024

If you're a wine enthusiast like me ... follow my adventures, learn about grapes or winemaking.

read more

Meet the author

Photo for Damien Saunders
Damien Saunders
WSET3 award - Has been on a journey to learn more about wine, viticulture since I started travelling. Every country has something to drink.
Find our more about me.