Ferrando Carema Etichetta Nera 2016 Magnum
The best wine you probably never had. Farming at the Northern end of Piedmont, Ferrando Carema is the consummate insider's wine. So esteemed by his equally esteemed importer Neal Rosenthal, Carema is Rosenthal's single favorite wine in the entire world. Words like "breathaking" "elegant" and "graceful" are bandied about so often that you can be immune when they are so richly deserved. But Carema is the real deal and the benchmark for Alpine nebbiolo. The Etichetta Nera is produced only in the best vintages from a selection of the family’s best parcels. Like the “Etichetta Bianca”, it was aged for 38 months before being bottled last December. The only difference between the two is that this wine is aged only in smaller French oak only a minor percentage of which are new. As the name implies, this cuvée has a much richer and darker tonality than the “Etichetta Bianca”. The fruit has a more concentrated and sweeter edge, with a darker color, slight animal undertone, and sweet, medicinal spice. The tannins are also a bit stronger in the “Nera,” but are sweeter and offset by the presence of greater material. While you can certainly drink this wine today, those who wait patiently will be rewarded for their perseverance.