Barolo & Barbaresco

Barolo and Barbaresco are from Piedmont and made from the Nebbiolo grape. Barolo is generally known to be heavily tannic when young, and headily rich and it is on many collectors lists especially in great years as it is delicious when it matures.  Barbarescos are generally more approachable/friendly younger and I've found not as generous in that heady richness, but that's subjective.  And of course you have probably surmised the barolos tend to run more expensive. I never buy them for that reason nor does the average wine buyer.  People look at them at the wine shop and ask about them and I always have to advise against opening a barola near its vintage.  How can I recommend a really tannic $80 (min) bottle of wine to open tonight?  What a waste.  Barbaresco is better in that case, and prices vary.
I love, for example, a hard to find but much less inexpensive Nebbiolo based wine called Spanna, also from Piedmont.  Almost no one has it though.  I suspect what is made stays there as local wine drunk by locals and restaurants for its value.  I used to be able to get this one Spanna for $20 and it was really special but then the distributor in NC stopped carrying it.  Not enough people know it so it's a "hand-sell" wine. 
The tasting notes on B & B often include tar and roses (along with others) but it is those 2 notes in particular that are pretty distinctive to that grape, thus differentiating it. Love them.
By: Donna MacDougall