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Scarpa Tettineive Barbaresco 2015
This elegant Barbaresco is made in a traditional style by the legendary Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa which is considered one of the region’s finest producers. This bottling is a single vineyard release with grapes harvested from the 2.5 hectare Tettineive site which sits at 450 metres above sea level near the village of Neive.
Winemaking is carried out according to local traditions with fermentation in large wooden vats followed by a very long ageing period of 3-4 years in large botti or casks. The wine is then aged in the bottle for several more years before it is deemed ready for release. The result is a strikingly refined Barbaresco with bright fruit carefully balanced by spice from the oak and a firm structure. Although this wine is already showing plenty of maturity, this is a great addition to any collector’s cellar and can be kept for at least another decade.
Set in the rolling Monferrato hills, the Scarpa estate dates right back to 1854. The estate’s modern history dates back to the 1960s when it was acquired by Mario Pesce, a master winemaker who was greatly admired by the likes of Giacosa and Gaja. Pesce was passionate about preserving local winemaking traditions such as fermentation in wooden vats and extended maturation periods, while also modernising and re-energising the business.
Grasso Fratelli Barbaresco Vallegrande 2016
Set in the heart of the bucolic Langhe region, the Grasso Fratelli estate is run by brothers Luigi and Alfredo Grasso who are blessed with 7 hectares of prime vineyards planted on soils rich in limestone and chalk. These conditions help to produce top quality Barbaresco grapes that reach optimum maturity while retaining enough acidity to create beautifully-balanced and age worthy wines.
The brothers have been making wine all their lives and come from a long line of grape growers and winemakers. Their Barbaresco Vallegrande is a classic example of its type, offering the fresh red berry character with accents of rose petals and smoky tobacco that is so typical of the noble Nebbiolo grape. This intense flavour profile is balanced by a bright freshness and long, lingering finish which ends with subtle sweet spice notes from the extended ageing in oak barrels.
A sublime combination of power and elegance, this charming Barbaresco is ideal to enjoy alongside typical Italian dishes like fresh pasta served with a flavoursome ragu sauce, beef braised in Barolo, or even a classic Piemontese dish of veal served with wild mushrooms or truffles.
Castello di Verduno Barbaresco Rabaja 2016
Castello di Verduno is named after the picturesque 16th century castle set in the village of Verduno in Barolo. The estate is owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco and has a respected reputation for crafting excellent Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Verduno is blessed with some of the region’s finest terroirs including the prized Monvigliero and Rabaja vineyards which are farmed organically and harvested by hand to ensure only the finest quality fruit reaches the winery.
This single vineyard Barbaresco is exclusively sourced from Verduno’s Rabaja vineyard which is one of the finest crus for Nebbiolo. The south-west facing vineyard is harvested in October at optimal maturity and tends to produce particularly powerful and intense Barbarescos. The young wine is matured for 24 months in large Slavonian oak casks before bottling and release.
On the nose there is abundant dark fruit and hints of dried herbs and leather, while the first sip reveals a rich full body balanced by a gentle streak of freshness. The power and firm structure make this a great choice for extended cellaring or enjoying now alongside hearty red meat dishes such as steak or venison.
Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 2016
This sublime red is considered one of the finest Barbarescos on the market thanks to the exceptional reputation of the 11 hectare Martinenga single vineyard site. The entire vineyard is owned by Marchesi di Gresy and they split the site into three distinct subplots each with its own unique character. The vineyard has an altitude of 250-280 metres above sea level and very special blue marl soils which contain clay, limestone and chalk. These conditions help to create a uniquely refined and elegant style of Barbaresco even during difficult vintages.
On the nose there are telltale Nebbiolo aromas of rose petals, sour cherries and redcurrants along with hints of dried fruit and leather. The first sip reveals a robust full body, firm tannins and well-built structure which will respond well to additional cellaring over the next decade or so. A bright streak of acidity provides balance and a counterpoint to the rich red fruit flavours seasoned with dried herbs and licorice.
Marchesi di Gresy is truly one of Piedmont’s insider secrets, producing exceptional quality reds which often rival those of their near neighbour, Angelo Gaja. The estate has been owned by the di Grésy family since 1797 and was run as a traditional farm up until the 1960s with the grapes sold on to local wineries. It was only in the 1970s that the family began to bottle their own wines under the visionary leadership of Alberto di Grésy, and today his son and daughter Alessandro and Ludovica support him in running the family business.
Mario Giribaldi Barbaresco 2015
This elegant Barbaresco is crafted from old Nebbiolo vines planted in Mario Giribaldi’s Neive vineyard which sits at 350 metres above sea level. The southern exposure and calcareous soils suit the variety well, helping to create refined wines with plenty of rich ripe fruit character and a well-built structure balanced by ample freshness. In the winery the must is vinified in stainless steel tanks and then matured in oak barrels for 24 months before bottling.
The nose is immediately enchanting with powerful dark cherry, raspberry and wild rose notes. The palate offers a full body, firm tannins, and intense cassis, blackberry and black cherry flavours complemented by hints of bitter chocolate, leather, tobacco, and cigar box. The punchy flavour profile makes this a great wine to cellar for another 5 or so years or to drink now with red meat dishes or tomato-based pastas.
Azienda Agricola Mario Giribaldi is a small family-run winery that was founded by Giovanni Giribaldi in 1886. Three generations on the estate remains in the Giribaldi family with ten family members currently involved in the business, working 30 hectares across the Langhe region which have been certified as organic since 2004.
La Spinetta Barbaresco Bordini 2017
The story of La Spinetta begins back in the 1890s when Giovanni Rivetti left his native Piedmont to make his fortune in Argentina. Giovanni dreamed of returning home a rich man and setting up his own family winery, but sadly he was never to make this a reality. That task fell to his grandson, Giuseppe, who founded La Spinetta in 1977 in Castagnole Lanze.
The estate is located in the heart of the Moscato d’Asti region which was then known for its simple dessert wines, but the family were convinced this was the perfect spot to create top quality wines from other local grape varieties like Barbera and Nebbiolo. This stunning Barbaresco is made with top quality fruit from the Rivettis’ Bordini vineyard in Neive which was farmed by the Bordini family for over 300 years until La Spinetta acquired it in 2006.
Once in the winery the grapes are vinified and then matured in French oak barrels for 20-22 months followed by another 6 months of ageing in the bottle. Luscious notes of dark cherry, raspberry, baked earth and winter spice dominate the nose while the first sip reveals classic punchy Nebbiolo tannins, a firm structure and a very long finish. This is a wine that will perform well in the cellar over the next decade or so, although the robust personality also makes it ideal to enjoy alongside rich red meat dishes.