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The Erbaluce Grape


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About Erbaluce

(Synonyms: Alba Lucenti, Albaluce, Albe Lucenti, Ambra, Bianc Rousti, Bianchera, Bianco Rusti, Erba Luce, Erbaluce Bianca, Erbalucente, Erbalucente Bianca, Erbalus, Erbcalon, Greco Novarese, Repcalon, Trebbiano Gentile, Trebbiano Perugino, Trebbiano Verde dell'Umbria, Uva Rustia, Uva Rustica, Vernazza di Gattinara.)

Background

Map showing the Piedmont region of Italy

Erbaluce is a white-wine grape originating in the Piedmont region of Italy, probably as far back as ancient Roman times. Today, it is produced only in the small Caluso area, and is very widely referred to as “Erbaluce di Caluso”. (It is said that there are only 15 producers of this varietal.) Besides dry table wines, the grape is also much used for notable sweet and speakling wines (which are outside our ambit).

Erbaluce is very much a high-acid grape, and when vinified as table wine thus wants a lot of fruit or it will come out thin and astringent. When the fruit is ample, the wines have a distinctly apple-y quality in node and flavor; but high acidity is the variety’s calling card. Like many high-acid whites, it ages well in the bottle.

Factoid: Erbaluce wines are moving up in quality as the region tries to compete with some of Italy’s better-established quality whites.

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Some Descriptions of Erbaluce Wines

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Some Erbaluces to Try

(About this list.)

As is commonly remarked, Erbaluce is not—not yet, anyway—well known outside its small home region, and so in the U.S. specimens are not easy to come by; moreover, of those available, several are either above our self-imposed $20 limit or only available at a very few outlets (or both). In the end, we found only a couple that fit our requirements.


Orsolani “La Rustia” Erbaluce

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Ferrando “La Torrazza” Erbaluce

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

There are no available bottlings better enough than those listed above as to justify any “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Thursday, 16 January 2020, at 11:17 pm Pacific Time.