How sweet it is to be shipwrecked in this sea of Nebbiolo.
—from the Pindaric “The Infinite,” by Pseudo Leopardi (attributed)
Fifty fortunate wine writers and luminaries have descended upon Alba for 4 days of tasting at the Alba Wine Exhibition, held each year in the Langa Hills of Piedmont. This year, participants will taste roughly — and roughly they will taste — 300 wines, including soon-to-be-released bottlings of Nebbiolo: 2006 Barbaresco and Roero (as well as 2005 and 2004 Roero Riserva) and 2005 Barolo (as well as 2003 Barolo riserva).
VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani and contributor Tom Hyland are among the “hostages” this week who will taste 60-70 wines per day. Tastings begin at 9 a.m. daily and end at 1:30 p.m. when participants adjourn for a much needed repast, “in order to combat the accumulation of tannins on our palates,” says Franco ruefully.