The balance of focus and power is simply stunning - High-Wire Nebbiolo: 2008 Le Piane Boca

Posted by Joe Salamone

High-Wire Nebbiolo
2008 Le Piane Boca

"The balance of focus and power is simply stunning... This is a magnificent effort" -Antonio Galloni

Le Piane's Boca is high-wire Nebbiolo. It hails from the northern extremes of Piedmont.

Barolo and Barbaresco may enjoy the easy spotlight, but when Nebbiolo speaks from these kinds of cooler climates, a perfume and snappy acid structure are unlocked from the grape, speaking in a fascinating and singularly compelling way.

I've been impressed by Le Piane's Boca for many years, but the 2008 is the best wine they've produced. The wonderful detail, clarity and completeness of the 2008 vintage took it to a whole new realm.

And this realm is among Piedmont's best. Galloni placed Le Piane's 2008 Boca right there with the Barolos from 2008.

Unlike Barolos and Barbarescos, Boca is structured around it's acidity instead of its tannins. This means that Le Piane's Boca is drinkable now, but will age very, very well. I recently tasted a 61 Boca that was still very much alive. It's safe to say that Le Piane's 2008 Boca has 10-20 years ahead of it.

Boca's vineyards sit some 400-500 meters higher than those of Barolo and dig into volcanic porphyry soils. The wines are studies in poise and agility with subtle tinges of herbs, citrus, woodland berries and balsamic notes.

What's most striking about Le Piane's 2008 Boca is its finesse and its length. The tension and the precision are just thrilling.

There was a period in the far past when Boca, along with much of northern Piedmont, was renowned for its wines. More recently, it was on the brink of extinction. In the 90s, it had under 10ha planted. Le Piane's Christoph Künzli became fascinated with the wines of the region and began to purchase land here in the late 90s. It was a massive undertaking. Inheritance laws had divided up the vineyards to such an extent that Künzli had to engage in 94 transactions to get 6.5ha of land. Then came replanting and fixing terraces.

Le Piane's 2008 Boca makes a powerful statement about just how good Boca can be. Nebbiolo is Italy's most noble grape. It's incredibly sensitive to where it's planted. The expression of Nebbiolo in Boca is singular - it's silken, agile and with pin-point focus. Very impressive.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits