Alto Piemonte – earlier bottling please


The wines of Alto Piemonte, a string of tiny, jewel-like denominations in the north of Piemonte, remain a thing of beauty. (This picture of Bramaterra comes from the Alto Piemonte Consorzio's website, which has other views of vineyards backed by snowy alps.) With their fine, cool perfumes and finely etched tannins, these Nebbiolo-based wines are so very different from Barolo and Barbaresco that I wonder why wine lovers (and quite a few importers) regard them as simply a cheaper alternative to the wines of the Langhe. 

This is to miss the point completely because these wines come from a...