Friday, October 29, 2010

Barbaresco : The 2007 Vintage

This year's vintages of Barbaresco and Barolo are 2007 and DOCG 2006, respectively, and before we get to them a brief aside. This year the folks at Albeisa, who host the annual vintage presentation, decided it was time for a change, and rather than work with Marinella Minetti of Wellcom, who had organized Alba Wines since its first edition, asked another firm called Gheusis to step in.

The decision had several consequences, the first being that -- since Wellcom holds the rights to "Alba Wines" -- the folks at Albeisa had to rename the event; they settled on "Nebbiolo Prima," which has a nice ring to it though it isn't quite as descriptive as Alba Wines.

The other, and for me more important consequence was that they decided to invite new voices; with a limited number of spots available some journalists who had attended Alba Wines for many years did not receive invitations, including, initially, me.

Faced with the prospect of not going, I talked with Carlo Macchi, the friend and colleague behind Winesurf, a fascinating and very dynamic Italian internet wine review (listen to Ezio Rivella, president of the Brunello Consorzio, tell Carlo that most of the Brunello made in Montalcino contains forbidden varietals here), and he suggested that I taste through the wines in the fall with his team. I gratefully accepted his invitation, and then, the week before Nebbiolo Prima, received an invitation to the official event as well. Which I of course accepted.

I therefore tasted through a large body of wines, in late spring, and then tasted through a smaller though still considerable number of Barbarescos and Barolos in the beginning of October. The samples do not completely overlap -- some people who presented their wines at Nebbiolo Primo didn't respond to our request, while a few sent their wines just to us, and a few others sent us vintages that they didn't send to Nebbiolo Primo. I therefore have decided to combine the tastings, and, since enough time has elapsed for the wines to change some since the spring, will give the notes from both events when I can.

You will note that while in some cases the scores are the same, in others they differ, sometimes substantially, as do the comments. This is because wine is a living thing that changes and evolves, especially when it is young, going through more exuberant phases and others, which a friend calls stupid phases, in which it really wants to be left alone. In these cases I would tend to give more credence to the score from the expansive moment, because in the long term it will work through the stupid phases.

I will also present the notes in the format employed by Alba wines and then Nebbiolo Grapes, in other words by Comune, and of wineries wineries that make wines in more than one Comune will be discussed by Comune rather than be lumped together, because there were significant differences in the ways the various comuni showed, especially for the DOCG 2006 Barolo. And this brings us to the vintages.

Barbaresco and is 2007, which is a fairly skittish, nervous vintage, with wines that are fairly acidic, and often brambly, with moderate to nice fruit, and tannins that are again rather nervous. It's a vintage that, in younger wines from other appellations, was rather difficult, and I had my doubts about it with Barbaresco (and Roero).

But was pleasantly surprised; the skittishness is there, in both tannin and acidity, but the noses are opening nicely to reveal fairly rich berry fruit aromas, while there are also, in most cases, fairly bright acidities that guarantee good aging potential, and the tannins do have a firm, substantial underpinning.

While it's not a great vintage, it is very much alive, and yielded many elegant wines that though a little too young now will be pleasant as they begin to enter maturity, in 2-3 years, and will age nicely for at least a decade. As always, you will have to choose with care, but you will find very enjoyable wines in the style you like.

The 2006 Barolo is another matter. Though the vintage, on paper, is superior to either the 2005 or the 2007, it was quite uneven from Comune to Comune, with Barolo, which is often the weakest Comune, showing rather well, as did Novello and Verduno. However, I have much more mixed feelings about Monforte, La Morra, and especially Serralunga D'Alba, where many of the wines were frightfully closed in the spring, and even more closed, if possible, this fall, to the point that Carlo wonders if they will ever really open. There were also many wines that were either very ripe, with fruit towards the prune-plum end of the spectrum (and high alcohol levels too), or a great deal of oak, or both.

The bottom line is that the DOCG 2006 Barolo is a decidedly mixed bag, and a wine that you will have to select with considerable care, because -- as is often the case in vintages that show this way -- the winemakers who usually rank at the top are among those whose wines suffer the problems the most. This said, it is a vintage that has considerable potential -- Carlo, who is much better at doing statistical analysis of Winesurf's scores than I am of mine, says that though his group found few wines meriting 4 (their top score is 5), a considerable number got 3-3 1/2, more than any vintage since 2001. The bottom line is that it is a good vintage, with spots of greatness, but is not a sure-fire vintage: You'll have to pick with care, selecting wines that match the style you like, because -- with a few exceptions -- it isn't a great vintage in which wines of styles you generally don't care for will offer you opportunities for discovery and delight.

In the fall Carlo and I concentrated on Barolo and Barbaresco. Given the number of wines, after a common introduction, the Barbaresco, in the order tasted at Nebbiolo Prima in May, which is by Comune:

The Comune of Alba

Azienda Agricola Molino
Azienda Agricola Molino Teorema Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright strawberry fruit and some wild strawberry acidity: youthful, and though it's quick to write it's also harmonious. On the palate it's bright, with lively berry fruit acidity and sour cherry strawberry fruit supported by smooth tannins that have a dusky bitter underpinning and flow into a clean savory finish with tannic underpinning. Pleasant, and will drink nicely in the short term with grilled meats or hearty stews, though it also has nice aging potential.
2 stars

Piazzo Armando
Piazzo Armando Fratin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with floral accents, including rosa canina, mingled with some nutmeg and slightly jammy red berry fruit with greenish vegetal accents as well, and, as it opens, some sweetness. On the palate it's ample and quite soft, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by cheeky berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight vegetal undercurrent and flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a fairly rich fruit driven key, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or stews, and will also age nicely for a number of years. Worth seeking out, and will also age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

After the summer it had drawn into itself:

Piazzo Armando Barbaresco Fratin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is quite fresh, with greenish floral accents mingled with spice and plum fruit supported by some savory notes and fairly rich spice, including some bitter graphite shavings. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by savory accents and bitter minerality more than acidity, which flow into a rather bitter finish. I'd have liked greater depth to the fruit.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Taliano Michele
Azienda Agricola Taliano Michele Ad Altiora Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with mentholated berry fruit supported by some pine needles (fir), and greenish vegetal accents with a yellow peach underpinning that adds richness. On the palate it's ample, with rich berry fruit supported by deft slightly citric acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish. Quite young, but already drinkable, and will work well with grilled meats or stews, though it will also age well for 10 years or more.
2 stars

Massimo Penna Viticoltore
Massimo Penna Viticoltore Sorì Sartù Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some dusky savory accents and spice -- nutmeg with hints of sage -- and some berry fruit. Closed, however, and needs time. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins, while there isn't that much in the way of acidity -- more an unexpected sweetness, and it flows into a rather jammy finish. It's approachable, but not really exciting, and very fruit forward. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but if you prefer wines with more backbone you will find it wanting.
1 star

Adriano Marco e Vittorio
Adriano Marco e Vittorio Sanadaive Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and rim paling to garnet. The bouquet is fairly intense, with jammy greenish accents mingled with some wood smoke and peach fuzz. It's still developing. On the palate it's ample, with rich slightly sour cherry fruit supported by moderate dusky berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a greenish underpinning and flow into a clean bright rather acidic finish with tannic underpinning. It's a child, but a pleasant child, that promises well and should age nicely for a decade or more. I wouldn't give it that long if I had one bottle, but would give it at least a couple of years to come together and decide what it wants to be. Do give it time.
2 stars

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Barbaresco Sanadaive DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with greenish vegetal notes mingled with peach pit bitterness and some graphite shavings, with, as it opens, rich ripe plum fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with plum fruit supported by moderate dusky mineral acidity and by smooth rather savory tannins that flow into a clean fairly savory tannic finish with underlying sour berry fruit. It will work well with grilled meats or hearty stews, and is pleasant, though I'd have liked more richness to the fruit,
2 stars

Albino Rocca
Albino Rocca Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up red berry fruit supported by greenish accents and berry fruit spice. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderate berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet savory tannins that flow into a clean savory finish. Pleasant enough, though also quite direct, and will drink better in the short term with grilled meats or roasts; one could age it, though I wouldn't age it for more than 5-8 years.
2 stars

The Comune of Treiso

La Ganghija di Rapalino Enzo
La Ganghija di Rapalino Enzo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim tending towards garnet. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by greenish Nebbiolo accents and some spice, though not so much acidity. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by fairly bright acidity and moderately rich tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish with some underlying savory accents. Pleasant, though the tannins are not such that the wine will be long lived; it is approachable in a fairly fruit forward key.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo
Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo Vigna Rongallo Meruzzano Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with jammy accents and some berry fruit supported by greenish notes, and some underlying berry fruit. On the palate it's ample, with soft berry fruit supported by dusky bitterness and some but not too much acidity, and by tannins that have a savory cedary underpinning and flow into a clean cedar laced finish. It's approachable, but very young, with cedar from oak overshadowing the fruit at present, and needs time. I'd expect it to be fairly forward and quite approachable in a year or two, and to drink well then but not age for too long.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo Barbaresco Vigna Rongallo DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some minerality and slight hot iron, with hints of smoky flint as well, and slightest fruit. It's shut tight, awaiting the future. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by moderately intense cherry acidity, and by light tannins that flow into a fairly quick warm finish. It's quite direct, with a directness that brings to mind a grinning gap-toothed kid, and this is more direct than I would expect a Barbaresco to be. I would in any case give it a year or two to get its bearings and serve it with red meats.
1 star

Cà del Baio
Cà del Baio Vaigrande Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up berry fruit mingled with greenish accents and some almond fuzz; it's still quite young and developing. On the palate it's bright and fruit forward, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by lively berry fruit acidity and by moderately intense tannins that do a good job of supporting but don't provide quite as much backbone as I might have liked. It's quite approachable, and will drink very well with red meats, but doesn't have the fist of steel one hopes for in Nebbiolo. The velvet glove is there, but the fist of steel is questionable.
2 stars

Eredi Lodali
Eredi Lodali Lorens Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine garnet with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with rosa canina and berry fruit supported by deft greenish vegetal accents and some acidity. Nice balance, and harmonious to sniff. On the palate it's bright, with lively acidity and sour berry fruit supported by smooth tannins that have some greenish accents and flow into a clean fairly bright finish. Quite pleasant, and approachable, and will drink very well with red meats.
2 stars

Eredi Lodali Barbaresco Lorens DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents and fairly rich leaf tobacco mingled with warm spice and a fair amount of alcohol. Quite young. On the palate it's ample and vinous, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by savory bitterness and by cedar-laced tannins that flow into a clean decidedly savory finish. Quite a bit of oak, but there is also fairly intense fruit that will be able to balance it if given time, at least a couple of years. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style; if you do it will work very well with hearty roasts and stews along the lines of wild boar or venison.
2 stars

Terre da Vino
Terre da Vino La Casa in Collina Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up rosa canina and hints of nutmeg, mingled with some spice. Very young and in what one might call a fase interlocutoria in Italian, which means it has not yet found itself. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by moderate sour berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly bright sour berry fruit finish. It's quite approachable in a traditional key, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Terra da Vino Barbaresco Casa in Collina DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit wilder than some, with wet horse and stable straw mingled with savory sea salt and balsamic warmth, and some greenish accents. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that are ample and smooth, working more from below the surface than from above it; I would have liked more acidity, because it is a bit settled and lacks the definition that brisker acidity brings.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Pelissero
Azienda Agricola Pelissero Nubiola Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit more rustic than some, with balsamic notes and wet stable straw mingled with sea salt and savory spice. It has quite a bit to say if you like the style. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich savory berry fruit supported by sea salt and some spice, and by tannins that are smooth, and flow into a clean tannic finish. It's curious, because the forwardness of the vintage mingles with the traditional style of the wine, and the overall impression is positive. If you like the style -- we're not talking the fruitiness of a California wine here -- you will enjoy it, though thanks to the vintage it's not strictly traditional.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Molino
Azienda Agricola Molino Ausario Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with mentholated berry fruit supported by some greenish accents and jammy notes. Rather inviting. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with rich sour berry fruit supported by some savory accents and by smooth sweet tannins that have slight savory notes and flow into a clean rather tannic finish with some cedar, and slight sea salt. It's quite approachable, and will drink well with grilled meats or hearty stews in the short term, and will also age nicely for at 10 years, though I don'0t think I would hold it for much longer.
2 stars

Rizzi
Rizzi Nervo Fondetta Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Lively almandine with brownish black reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is rich, and quite fresh, with floral accents mingled with berry fruit whose sweetness brings cola to mind, and also some jammy accents. Quite approachable. On the palate it's ample, with fairly intense sour berry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have slight cedary sandalwood accents and flow into a fairly bright slightly vegetal finish. Pleasant, and will drink very well with grilled meats or roasts in the short term, and also has the wherewithal to age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo Fondetta DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim paling to almandine. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with red berry fruit, spice, peach pit bitterness, and a fair amount of alcohol; it's quite charged. On the palate it's powerful, with considerable alcohol-laced bitterness supported by minerality and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean rather alcoholic finish. It's quite powerful, and will drink well with roasts or stews, though you have to like the style. If you prefer wines that display more fruit, you will like it less.
2 stars

Pertinace
Pertinace Vigneto Nervo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with savory balsamic accents mingled with spice and slight barnyard tang; it's quick to write but there's nice depth and harmony. On the palate it's full, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity,a nd by smooth warm slightly balsamic tannins that flow into a clean bright sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a traditional key, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or hearty roasts, and will also age well for a decade or more. It grew upon me.
88-90

Fratelli Grasso
Fratelli Grasso Vallegrande Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and mentholated vegetal accents mingled with slight berry fruit. It needs another year at least to come together and develop. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with moderately rich berry fruit supported by mentholated savory accents and smooth sweet tannins, but not that much acidity, and I found the lack of acidity to be vaguely bothering, as the wine comes across as settled thereby.
1 star

The summer makes a considerable difference:

Fratelli Grasso Barbaresco Vallegrande DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflectio9ns and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents mingled with spice and some berry fruit, though not too much. The wine revolves more around oak than fruit. On the palate it's ample, and fairly rich, with smooth soft cherry plum fruit supported by spice and smooth sweet tannins, while the acidity is moderately intense and rather mineral, and flows into a clean slightly brambly savory berry fruit finish. It's approachable in a fairly international key, though it needs at least a year to come together, at which point it will work well with grilled meats, for example lamb chops, or hearty stews. I would expect it to improve with time, because it gives the impression of being at the beginning of a long climb.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo
Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo Montersino Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and black rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, and dusky, with sour wood smoke and bitterness mingled with some underlying bitterness. On the palate it's ample and rather soft, with savory minerality more than fruit, and supported bouquet y smooth sweet tannins that flow into a savory mineral finish with hints of wood smoke. It is, by comparison with many, more tired and more settled.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Vigin
Azienda Agricola Vigin Noemy Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly irhc, with jammy berry fruit supported by some greenish accents and hints of wet leather with some savory accents. Nice balance and very young. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich sour cherry fruit supported by sea salt and moderate acidity, and by fairly smooth tannins that flow into a savory finish. It's fairly direct, and though quite approachable doesn't have much more to say than what one sees at first.
1 star

Pertinace
Pertinace Marcarini Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with balsamic acidity mingled with spice and some greenish accents with nose tingling acidity. Nice balance in a slightly rustic key. On the palate it's pleasant, with sour cherry fruit supported by dusky acidity and smooth rather brooding tannins that flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. It's fairly traditional in style, and approachable tending towards soft thanks to the vintage. In terms of accompaniments, grilled or braised meats, and also roasts.
2 stars

Rizzi
Rizzi Pajorè Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is quite fresh, with floral accents mingled with berry fruit and considerable jammy accents mingled with vegetal notes. Gives an impression of considerable ripeness. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins, and moderate acidity, and I would have wanted more.
1 star

Here a few months (and a different bottle) make a tremendous difference:

Rizzi Barbaresco Pajorè DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to white. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some berry fruit supported by cedar and slight spice. Shut tight, and awaiting the future. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and tannins that are fairly smooth, but do display a bright cherry burr, and flow into a clean fairly dusky cherry finish. Pleasant, and very young; though one could drink it now with a steak or a roast, it will reward those who have the patience to give it time -- 3 years at least, and ideally 10 or more.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Sottimano
Azienda Agricola Sottimano Pajora Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, with vinous accents mingled with berry fruit and some greenish spice; quite pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's bright, with lively savory berry fruit supported by tannins that gave a bright savory burr and flow into a clean rather bitter savory finish that continues at length. It's not a wine to drink by the glass, but will work quite well with rich savory meat dishes, ranging from hearty roasts along the lines of leg of lamb though braised meats, for example manzo al Barolo. In short, a fairly aggressive wine well suited to hearty winter meat dishes, which will also age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Wines with Grapes from the Comuni of Barbaresco, Treiso, and Neive

Prunotto
Prunotto Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, with cherry fruit supported by mentholated jammy accents and some spice, with hints of green leather and hardwood ash. On the palate it's moderately intense, with dusky sour berry fruit that's thinner than I might have liked, and also rather sour, supported by smoky acidity and by tannins that have a slightly cedary burr; I'd have rathered greater richness of fruit.
1 star

Prunotto Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with leaf tobacco and spice mingled with greenish notes and peach pit bitterness, while there isn't that much fruit. Quite young, and still digesting its oak. On the palate it's ample, with moderately intense dusky cherry fruit supported by considerable tannic bitterness more than acidity, and by tannins that are ample and cedar-laced, and flow into a clean rather dusky cedar finish. It needs another couple of years to get its bearings and digest the oak it has absorbed; this said, I would have liked a little more fruit than it displays; you will like it if you like dusky, brooding wines.
1 star

Wines with grapes from the Comuni of Neive and Barbaresco

Cantina del Pino
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some berry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some spice, also a fair amount of alcohol, and moderate acidity. Nice balance in a very young key, and still developing. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly tart finish. Pleasant and quite approachable though very young; it needs another couple of years to begin to show its best and will age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Cà du Rabajà
Cà du Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Dusky almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with savory balsamic accents mingled with greenish notes, and not much in the way of fruit; it's fairly traditional in a rather rustic key. On the palate it's ample, and fairly soft, with moderately rich berry fruit supported by balsam-laced acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have leathery accents. Quite approachable, in a lesser vintage key, though I would have liked more depth than I found.
1 star

Wines from the Comune of Barbaresco:

Cascina Morassino
Cascina Morassino Morassino Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep back cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with yellow peach fruit supported by some spice and moderate forest berry fruit; it's richer and riper than many. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense rather generic berry fruit supported by savory accents and some acidity, which flow into a clean savory finish. I'd have liked greater richness to the fruit, which is more settled and less exciting than I might have liked.
1 star

Rattalino
Rattalino Quarantadue Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up brambly berry fruit acidity and vegetal accents mingled with some spice and hardwood ash. On the palate it's ample, and fairly rich, with savory berry fruit supported by lively savory mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly rich clean savory tannic finish. It's up front, and while one might have hoped for more depth (which would have come in a better vintage) will drink quite well with simple grilled or roasted meats in the near term. I wouldn't age it for too long, not more than 5-8 years, because the complement to the fruit is more bitter tannic than acidic.
2 stars

Moccagatta
Moccagatta Bric Balin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep brownish almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange. The bouquet is dusky, with leather-laced cherry fruit supported by some prune and underlying nutmeg-laced spice that is also supported by a fair amount of alcohol. On the palate it's ample, with moderate fruit supported by some bitterness and savory accents that flow into a clean rather savory finish.
1 star

Again, what a difference a few months and a different bottle can make:

Moccagatta Bric Balin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is unusual, with ripe strawberry fruit supported by some berry fruit accents and some jammy sweetness, with underlying acidity. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with rich cherry plum fruit supported by mineral acidity and smooth sweet tannins that gain in sweetness form sweetness of fruit, and flow into a clean plum laced finish with a tannic splintery underpinning. It's quite young in a powerful, very ripe key and needs time, at least a year, to begin to come together; if you like the style it's pleasant but you have to like big ripe wines; unlike many that follow this path it has rich, vibrant tannins that stand up and provide guidance.
2 stars

Produttori del Barbaresco
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with greenish accents and some menthol mingled with yellow peach fuzz and some spice, and also a fair amount of alcohol. On the palate it's ample, with moderately rich wild berry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a fairly direct key, and though quite approachable is a wine to be drunk sooner -- within 5 years than later, because the tannic underpinning isn't as steely as one might have hoped for in a great vintage.
2 stars

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is surprisingly young, with a rush of violets mingled with savory greenish notes and very ripe forest berry fruit, and underlying minerality. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful cherry prune fruit supported by deft minerality and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean plum cherry finish that gains definition from some mineral acidity. It's pleasant, in a rather voluptuous key, and though it's not quite a starlet in a glass, the fruit does have a seductive quality to it. If you like more traditional wines, with lively acidities and tannins, it won't work as well for you, but if you like the more modern style it does have a certain charm, and will also drink well by the glass far from the table. It's not what one would call classic Barbaresco, but is pleasant.
2 stars

Bruno Rocca
Bruno Rocca Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with berry fruit laced with some balsamic notes and savory accents; nice balance though still quite young. On the palate it's ample and fairly soft, with moderately rich cherry plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly fresh berry fruit finish. It's up front and will drink well in the immediate future with simple grilled meats or light stews, though I wouldn't think to age it for too long, because there isn't that much acidity to provide direction and counterpoint to the tannins.
1 star

Cascina Morassino
Cascina Morassino Ovello Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some mentholated berry fruit and a fair amount of alcohol. Not much in the way of acidity however. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense plum laced berry fruit supported by slight acidity and by tannins that have a warm slightly leathery more than cedary finish.
1 star

Cascina delle Rose
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, with savory accents mingled with some berry fruit and spice; nice balance. On the palate it's fairly bright, with sour cherry fruit supported by moderate dusky berry fruit acidity and by brambly tannins that flow into a clean savory brambly finish. It's quite young, and needs another couple of years, though it does display the up-front qualities of the vintage, which will make it a better bet in the short term with rich red meats than a wine to age at length.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola La Spinona
Azienda Agricola La Spinona La Spinona Bricco Faset Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is powerful, and a bit rustic, with balsamic acidity mingled with sea salt and some balsamic acidity; it's pleasant in a frankly traditional key. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich balsamic fruit supported by balsamic acidity with pleasing underlying bitter accents, and supported by smooth slightly dry tannins that flow into a clean savory balsamic finish. Pleasant in a fairly traditional key and if you like the style you will enjoy it very much. If you prefer more fruit forward wines it will work less well for you.
2 stars

Montaribaldi
Montaribaldi Sorì Montaribaldi Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some dusky India ink bitterness and spice mingled with alcohol and some nose tingling acidity. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, with bitterness and acidity, which carry the show while the show more than fruit, and carry into a savory bitter finish.
1 star

Montaribaldi Barbaresco Sorì Montaribaldi DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Dark cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with pleasant cherry fruit supported by slight bramble, some leaf tobacco, and alcohol, with, in the background, some fruit jam. On the palate it's ample and vinous, with pleasant cherry fruit supported by tannins that have a fairly intense greenish cedary burr, and flow into a clean rather bitter tannic finish with some hardwood ash. It's quite young in a fairly middle of the road key, though the tannins have a cedar imprint that at present is too strong for me; it needs at least a year for the tannins to fold in, and perhaps longer, and I would have liked more fruit. I would expect it to age well for a decade or more, improving with time.
1 star

Poderi Colla
Poderi Colla Roncaglie Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is smoky, with bitter balsamic accents and savory notes more than fruit, supported by some spice, and barnyard tang mingled with sea salt. On the palate it's fairly rich, with mineral laced berry fruit supported by some savory accents, and by fairly rich slightly splintery tannins that flow into a clean rather bitter savory berry fruit finish. It's approachable in a traditional key, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or roasts, though it revolves more around minerality and bitterness than fruit.
2 stars

Time did help:

Poderi Colla Barbaresco Roncaglie DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, in an unusual vegetal key with sea salt and -- almost -- artichoke stems supported by sour cherry fruit with some dusky dappled shadow overtones that bring a cool fall day to mind. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderately intense acidity, and by tannins that have a smooth slightly greenish burr that flow into a clean rather bitter finish with cherry underpinning. Pleasant, though very young; it needs another couple of years to get its bearings, and will drink well with red meats or stews. Expect it to age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Bel Colle
Bel Colle Roncaglie Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling almost to brownish garnet. The bouquet is fairly intense, with wet leather and berry fruit supported by greenish accents and spice. Nice depth, and though it's quick to write there's nice balance to it. On the palate it's fairly direct, with moderately rich sour berry fruit supported by leathery berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean rather leathery berry fruit finish. Nice balance and harmonious, and though it needs a year or two to show its best, will already drink well with succulent grilled or roasted red meats. I'd expect it to age well for a decade though perhaps not much more.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola La Cà Nova
Azienda Agricola La Cà Nova Montestefano Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is fairly intense, with balsamic accents mingled with sea salt and spice, though the balsamic acidity predominates, and there are underlying spice and underbrush, with cherry plum fruit. On the palate it's ample and rich, with cherry plum fruit supported by savory minerality and spice, and by tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a fairly long finish with clean rather balsamic underpinning. Pleasant in a fairly traditional key, and will drink nicely in the short term with grilled meats or roasts; it also has the capacity to age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Carlo Giacosa
Azienda Agricola Carlo Giacosa Montefico Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim tending towards orange. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and slight berry fruit. On the palate it's ample with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by some, but not too much acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth and flow into a clean rather tannic finish with some cedary underpinning. Up front; it will drink well with grilled meats, roasts, or stews, but I probably wouldn't age it for long.
1 star

Time, just a few months, brought complexity:

Azienda Agricola Carlo Giacosa Barbaresco Montefico DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, and rather rustic, with balsamic notes and sea salt mingled with some stable straw and tart berry fruit acidity. Nice depth in a traditional key. On the palate it's rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by smooth tannins that do have a youthful burr, and flow into a clean bright rather tannic finish. It's quick to write, but quite pleasant in a decidedly traditional key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it very much. In terms of accompaniments, in the short term it will work well with grilled meats or stews, and also age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Cascina delle Rose
Cascina delle Rose Rio Sordo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with brownish reflections and orange rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and slight berry fruit supported by hardwood ash and spice. On the palate it's brash, with fairly bright sour berry fruit supported by warm slightly balsamic acidity that flows into a clean rather tart balsamic finish with savory overtones. Quite traditional in style, and if you like the style it will drink very well with grilled or roasted meats in the short term, and also has the capacity to age well for 8-10 years at least.
2 stars

Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit wild, with greenish balsamic accents mingled with wet stable straw and some savory notes, and some dried mushrooms as well. Pleasant, with quite a bit to say. On the palate it's fairly bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by brambly berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are steely, and flow into a clean sour cherry finish with a fairly intense mineral tannic underpinning. It's pleasant in a slightly scrappy traditional key, and if you like the style it will work very well with grilled meats or succulent roasts, including leg of lamb, and also with stewed red meats, including game such as boar or venison. I would also expect it to do interesting things with time.
2 stars

Cà Romè
Cà Romè Sorì Rio Sordo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and orange rim. The bouquet is muted; swishing brings up some sour notes mingled with gum Arabic and spice. Fairly direct. On the palate it's ample, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and dusky bitterness that flow into a fairly long dusky bitter finish. I'd have liked more depth to it; the fruit is rather flat.
1 star

Michele Chiarlo
Michele Chiarlo Asili Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with berry fruit supported sandalwood and nutmeg spice and by a fair amount of alcohol. With more swishing greenish accents also emerge. On the palate it's ample and fairly bright, with rich cherry and forest berry fruit supported by fairly rich mineral berry fruit acidity and by tannins that though smooth do display a slight burr, and flow into a clean berry fruit finish. Quite pleasant, and will drink very well with grilled meats or roasts in the short term, and will also age nicely for a number of years, 10 at least.
2 stars

Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Asili DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some plum laced berry fruit supported by cedar and dusky bitterness; it's nicely balanced and harmonious but very young. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by fairly bright berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a bright brambly flair and flow into a clean fairly rich brambly finish. Pleasant in a rather scrappy traditional key, and will drink very well with grilled meats, from steak through lamb chops, and also roasts and stews, and it will also age nicely for a decade or more. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
88-90

Cà del Baio
Cà del Baio Asili Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and greenish accents with some hardwood ash. Very much a work in progress. On the palate it's fairly rich, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by savory spice and some sour accents that flow into a clean bright sour berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. Quite young, and needs time, at least a year if not two, and will age nicely for 8-10 years.
2 stars

Tenute Cise Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy
Tenute Cise Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy Martinenga Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with brownish black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is brambly, with greenish accents and spice mingled with some berry fruit but not too much; it's still quite young and coming together. Nice balance, however. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively sour berry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright sour berry fruit finish. Quite pleasant in a rather scrappy key that brings a cute tomboy to mind, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or roasts now, but also has the legs to age well for a decade at least. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
2 stars

Tenute Cise Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and some almandine in the rim. The bouquet is intense, with a fair amount of alcohol laced with greenish spice and some greenish peach skin, and also gum Arabic. It's still coming together. On the palate it's moderately intense, with some cherry fruit supported by savory notes and cedar-laced tannins that flow into a clean fairly rich cherry tannic finish. It's young in a scrappy middle of the road key, and needs another couple of years to come together and get its bearings. When it does, it will drink well with hearty grilled meats or roasts, and will also age well for a decade or more. Expect it to improve with time.
2 stars

Albino Rocca
Albino Rocca Vigneto Brich Ronchi Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, of the nobody home variety; swishing brings up some but not too much berry fruit supported by savory accents and some spice. On the palate it's ample and rather soft, with fairly intense cherry plum fruit supported by savory notes and some spice but not that much acidity, while the tannins are a bit soft. I would have expected more, from both the tannins and the acidity.
1 star

Cà du Rabajà
Cà du Rabajà Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and slight mentholated berry fruit. On the palate it's ample, and vinous, with sour plum cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a lively tannic burr and flow into a clean bright tannic finish with some greenish undertones. It's still quite young, and needs at least a year to get its bearings, at which point it will drink very well with roasts or grilled meats.
2 stars

Cascina Luisin
Cascina Luisin Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up greenish accents and moderate spice. Still in mid stride. On the palate it's ample, with moderately rich sour cherry fruit supported by fairly brisk acidity and by tannins that are smooth and up front. Direct, and this is a manifestation of youth; it will drink well with zesty flavorful grilled meats or stews, and also has, thanks to its acidity, the capacity to age nicely for a number of years.
2 stars

Cortese Giuseppe
Cortese Giuseppe Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is bright, with balsamic accents mingled with sea slat and berry fruit and some sea salt. Quite a lot going on, in a fairly traditional key, and peasant to sniff. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by sour raspberry acidity that has some balsamic overtones, and is supported by smooth bright tannins that flow into a long warm sour cherry finish. Quite elegant, and though very young will drink well with gilled meats now; it will also age well for 8-10 years at least, and will bring joy to the table at which it is served.
88-90

Cortese Giuseppe Barbaresco Rabajà DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with deft, graceful cherry fruit supported by rosa canina and fresher floral accents, and by clean spice, with some berry fruit acidity. Quite elegant. On the palate it's ample, and vinous, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by savory accents and brisk berry fruit acidity, while the tannins are bright, and fairly steely, and it flows into a clean sour cherry finish with tannic underpinning and lasting warmth. Quick to write, but pleasant in a middle of the road key, and will drink well with hearty roasts or stews, though I would give the nose at least a year to catch up with the palate, and would expect the wine to age well for a decade or more. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Castello di Verduno
Castello di Verduno Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some dusky berry fruit supported by moderate savory spice. Nobody home. On the palate it's moderately intense, with moderate rather mineral fruit supported by savory accents and spice; I'd have rathered more richness to the fruit.
1 star

Bruno Rocca
Bruno Rocca Rabajà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and orange garnet rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and mentholated accents. Still developing. On the palate it's more of the same, with moderate berry fruit supported by savory spicy acidity and by tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a savory finish. It needs time to come together, at least a couple of years. At present it's a babe squalling in the playpen.
1 star

Barbaresco Riserva From Treiso

Piazzo Armando
Piazzo Armando Nervo Vigna Giaia Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some minerality mingled with graphite shavings and some berry fruit, and underlying bitterness as well. Nice balance, though still developing. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright sour berry fruit supported by lively brambly acidity and by tannins that have a dusky burr and flow into a clean berry fruit finish with underlying bitterness. Quite pleasant, in a slightly bitter key, and will drink well with grilled meats or stews in the short term, and also age nicely for many years.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Nada Giuseppe
Azienda Agricola Nada Giuseppe Casot Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Dusky almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with balsamic accents mingled with savory spice and some barnyard tang; it's fairly ristic, and if you like the style pleasant. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with fairly bright balsam-laced berry fruit supported by balsamic accents and warmth, and by smooth tannins that flow into a clean balsamic finish. I'd have liked more depth and richness to the fruit, which is pleasant, but not as rich nor as broad as I might have liked.
1 star

Barbaresco Riserva From Barbaresco

Produttori del Barbaresco
Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange. The bouquet is fairly rich, with plum cherry fruit supported by balsamic acidity and some spice, and by a fair amount of alcohol. On the palate it's it'0s ample and fierily direct, with bright berry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and smooth tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. It's still quite young, and still has to get its bearings, but will drink quite well with grilled meats or roasts, and will also age well for a number of years. If all 2005s were like this, it would be time to rethink the vintage.
2 stars

Produttori del Barbaresco Pora Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by dusky berry fruit acidity and by a fair amount of spice, with considerable underlying alcohol. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with lovely berry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and by a fair amount of alcohol that flows into a clean savory alcoholic finish. A food wine more than a sipping wine, at least now, and will also age nicely for 8-10 years. A revelation, because a rule I am not a great fan of the 2005 vintage, but this works quite well.
88-90

Wines From Neive

Azienda Agricola Massimo Rivetti
Azienda Agricola Massimo Rivetti Froi Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, with strawberry fruit supported by greenish accents and some fresh cedar. It has the directness of youth in a powerful key, and as it opens the cedar increases. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively sour berry fruit supported by tannins that have a warm burr, and by fairly rich acidity. Pleasing and quite young, it has a long climb ahead of it and will be worth giving time to, though one could drink it now with a steak or leg of lamb if one had to.
2 stars

Francone
Francone I Patriarchi Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
pale almandine with brownish black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and underlying cherry fruit. Promises well. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively slightly greenish berry fruit supported by considerable acidity and tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a clean slightly greenish finish. Powerful, and will age nicely for many years, though it is ready enough that one could drink it with a steak now.
2 stars

A wine that shut down over the summer:

Francone Barbaresco I Patriarchi DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with red berry fruit mingled with greenish accents -- the combination brings peach pits to mind -- and by a mix of alcohol and spice. On the palate it's ample, and fairly soft, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by sour smoky berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a settled feel about them, and flow into a clean rather bitter finish; I'd have liked greater richness of fruit than I found.
1 star

Negro Angelo e Figli di Giovanni Negro
Negro Angelo e Figli di Giovanni Negro Cascinotta Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, and swishing brings up some cedar. Not much fruit, and the impression it gives is of a person curled into a ball. On the palate it's ample, and more languid, with moderately rich berry fruit supported by some cherry acidity, and by tannins that are fairly smooth and flow into a clean warm berry fruit finish. It has a slightly more traditional feel, and is a touch settled, but will age nicely becoming lacy with time.
2 stars

Negro Angelo e Figli di Giovanni Negro Barbaresco Cascinotta DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by greenish peachy accents and sandalwood spice, with a fair amount of alcohol as well. Nice balance, though quite young. On the palate it's ample, with bright red berry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly tart sour cherry finish with a distinct savory underpinning. It's quite young, in a middle of the road key, and needs at least a couple of years to come together, at which point it will drink well with grilled meats or hearty stews. It grew upon me, and will also age well, for a decade or more.
2 stars

Feyles Vigneti
Feyles Vigneti Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep brownish almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to brown. The bouquet is intense, and sweet, with candied berry fruit and prunes mingled with some vanilla and spice. Particular, and you have to like the style. On the palate it's again fairly sweet, with candied cherry prune fruit supported by moderate acidity and nutmeg spice, while the tannins are ample and fairly smooth, and flow into a fairly sweet finish. It's unusual for a Barbaresco, with a sweetness that brings the Valpolicella to mind, and if you like the style you will like it. But you have to like the style; because of its relative sweetness I would drink it with richly flavored spicy meats, for example goulash.
1 star

Negro Giuseppe
Negro Giuseppe Pian Cavallo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is intense, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by strawberry acidity and some greenish cedar, also a fair amount of spice. Vibrantly young. On the palate it's full, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by lively slightly greenish cherry acidity, and by tannins that have a lively youthful burr, and flow into a fairly long sour berry fruit finish. It's pleasant though very, very young, and has the capacity to age well for a decade or more. Worth seeking out. To set aside.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Battaglio
Azienda Agricola Battaglio Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Pale almandine with brownish black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with rosa canina supported by mineral acidity and slight dried orange peel, with some nutmeg spice as well. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by brisk berry fruit acidity and by smooth delicate tannins that flow into a clean sour cherry and strawberry finish. Graceful in a delicate traditional key, and will age nicely for many years, becoming lacy with time.
2 stars

Battaglio Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim tending towards orange. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents mingled with sour cherry fruit and a fair amount of alcohol, and also some underlying savory woodsmoke. Quite young, and is obviously in mid-stride. On the palate it's ample, with brighter cherry fruit than I expected supported by bright sour cherry acidity with slight greenish overtones and by smooth tannins that flow into a clean sour cherry finish. It's pleasant, but the nose needs time to develop and come together; I would give it a year or perhaps two, and expect it to age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Montaribaldi
Montaribaldi Palazzina Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, with pleasant fresh cherry fruit supported by floral accents and strawberry acidity. Harmonious in a fresh youthful key. On the palate it's full, and bitterer than I expected, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by savory bitterness more than acidity, and by tannins that have an angry cedary burr and flow into a clean bitter finish. The nose was promising, but I found the bitterness excessive, and would have preferred more acidity.
1 star

Montaribaldi Barbaresco Palazzina DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with smoky cedary accents mingled with some berry fruit, though not too much; it revolves more around smoke and cedar. On the palate it's ample, and more mineral than fruity, with cedar laced acidity and tannins that have a distinctly cedar-laced overlay, and flow into a clean rather mineral finish. I found myself wishing for more fruit and greater brightness; it has a dusky brooding quality to it that you will either like or not at all.
1 star

Castello di Neive
Castello di Neive Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with pale black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with a fair amount of alcohol and some underbrush supporting leathery accents and spice, but not much fruit. Hints of rosa canina, however. Just hints, and what really comes out for me is the alcohol. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich minerality mingled with berry fruit and supported by some mineral acidity, while the tannins are soft and smooth, and flow into a warm finish with ripe cherry underpinning. It's in mid stride, but I found it a little laxer than I would want a young wine to be.
1 star

Castello di Neive Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is brambly, with some tart accents and moderate berry fruit; it gives an impression of holding back. On the palate it's fairly light for a Barbaresco, with sour berry fruit supported by tannins that have a shadowy burr and flow into a fairly dry tannic finish that has some leafy tree bark accents. I would have liked greater richness of fruit than it displays; if you like the style it does have a certain grace, and may age into ethereality, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Wines made from grapes form Neive and Treiso

Cantina del Nebbiolo
Cantina del Nebbiolo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with red berry fruit supported by alcohol and some bitter graphite shaving accents and savory spice. On the palate it's ample, with warm red berry fruit supported by fairly bright berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are ample and smooth, and flow into a warm slightly greenish finish. It's very young, in a fairly delicate traditional key, and will age nicely over a period of many years, becoming lacy with time. It's more about finesse than power, and if you like the style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Cantina del Nebbiolo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with a fair amount of cedar supported by savory notes and some prune-laced berry fruit; there are also hints of sandalwood spice. But the overall impression is one of being closed; it's developing and needs time. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by sour cherry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean sour cherry finish with a slight tannic underpinning. Pleasant, though it needs at least a year to come together; it will drink well with succulent roasts or stews, and will age well for a decade or more, doing quite interesting things with time. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Wines from Neive

Cascina Saria
Cascina Saria Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Garnet with black reflections and pale garnet rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with leathery berry fruit supported by greenish accents, some oatmeal sweetness, and underlying jaminess, with quite a bit of alcohol too. Particular, and you have to like the style. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with sweet prune cherry fruit supported by warmth and tannins that have a dusky burr and flow into a clean fairly sweet finish. It's particular, and the sweetness is not something I associate with Barbaresco, but because of it I would be tempted to serve it with spicier stews along the lines of goulash.
1 star

The summer changed things:

Cascina Saria Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively black almandine with ruby reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is quite rich, with jammy cherry plum fruit supported by sweetish jammy accents and pleasant spice; it's quite ripe, and also displays nice balance. On the palate it's ample and rich, with intense cherry plum fruit supported by slightly balsamic berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that will be smooth in a year or two, but have a dusky burr at present, and flow into a warm fairly alcoholic finish that's quite long. Pleasant in a fairly charged middle of the road key, and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews in the sort term, but will also age nicely for at least a decade, and perhaps more. If you like the style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Castello di Neive
Castello di Neive Santo Stefano Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish balsamic bitterness mingled with a certain pungency and a fair amount of alcohol. It's very much in mid stride. On the palate it's full, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by tannins that are glancing, and flow into a rather hot peppery finish with berry fruit underpinning. It's in mid-stride and needs time for the pieces to come together. At least a year, and perhaps more; in terms of impressions I would have liked brighter less mineral acidity and tannins that were a little smoother.
1 star

Castello di Neive Barbaresco Santo Stefano DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with brambly accents and alcohol supported by some sour cherry fruit and hints of red currant acidity, and fairly intense spice as well. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and smooth tannins that have a slight cedar underpinning and a bit of a youthful burr. It's quite young, but displays a certain grace, and will drink well with grilled red meats or roasts, though I would give it at least a couple of years to get its bearings, and expect it to drink well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Azienda Vitivinicola Elio Filippino
Azienda Vitivinicola Elio Filippino San Cristoforo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, and rather medicinal, with gum Arabic and spice that brings bandages to mind, and some underlying floral accents. It's in mid stride. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that have a blocky burr to them and flow into a tongue-drying finish. It has been heavily oaked, and has yet to recover. I wonder if it will
1 star

Azienda Agricola Pietro Rinaldi
Azienda Agricola Pietro Rinaldi San Cristoforo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with quite a bit of cedar and some alcohol; the oak is overbalancing the fruit at present. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderate cherry fruit supported by brighter than expected berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are smooth and flow into a clean cedar-laced finish with some cherry underpinning. It's heavily oaked, but there is enough fruit to balance it on the palate, and if you like the style you will enjoy it, and I think that as it ages the fruit will likely reemerge some from its oaken blanket. But you have to like the style.
1 star

Punset
Punset Campo Quadro Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with bloack reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is powerful, with quite a bit of oak that doesn't quite overshadow berry plum fruit, with some spice as well, and a fair amount of alcohol. Concentrated, with considerable wood. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich cherry plum fruit that's richer than I expected, supported by tannins that have an oaky burr, and some savory accents, and by fairly bright berry fruit acidity. Harmonious, and will drink quite nicely with a roast or stew when it has gotten its bearings and come together, though that will take at least a year, and perhaps two. I would expect it to age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Antichi Poderi dei Gallina
Antichi Poderi dei Gallina Vigneto L Ciaciaret Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with black reflections and orangish rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and some cedar. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by some acidity and by smooth rather lax tannins that flow into a fairly quick slightly greenish finish with some sweetness. It's more settled than one would expect a young Barbaresco to be.
1 star

Lequio Ugo
Lequio Ugo Gallina Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is fairly intense, with some floral accents mingled with peppery spice and a fair amount of alcohol,. Not much fruit however. On the palate it's ample, and riper than I expected, with smooth fairly sweet plum cherry fruit supported by mineral acidity and by ample sweet tannins that flow into a fairly bright mineral finish with considerable warmth. It's a touch riper than some, and is in mid stride, but if you like the style, which is highly extracted and powerful, you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Fontanabianca
Fontanabianca Sorì Burdin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Brownish garnet with black reflections and orange rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents and some spice, mingled with some savory cedar. On the palate it's ample and ripe, with plum cherry fruit supported by oaky bitterness more than acidity, and by tannins that are ample and again owe much of their character to oak. It's well dosed oak, but there's a lot of it, and I found it overshadowing the fruit.
1 star

Fontanabianca Barbaresco Sorì Burdin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Fairly deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to white. The bouquet is fairly rich, with savory sour berry fruit supported by spice and greenish vegetal accents with some mentholated notes as well. On the palate it's ample and smooth with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by brambly mineral acidity and clean fairly steely tannins that flow into a clean dry tannic finish. Quite young, and is at the beginning of a long climb; it displays considerable depth and vigor, and though one could drink it now with grilled meats or roasts, it will reward those who have the patience to give it time.
2 stars

F.lli Cigliutti
F.lli Cigliutti Vigne Erte Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep garnet with black reflections and almandine rim. Quite dark. The bouquet is fairly intense, with quite a bit of oak supporting cherry prune fruit, with some oatmeal sweetness as well, which is, I think, a combination of oak and alcohol. The overall impression is not bright. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with plum cherry fruit supported by tannins that have a warm spicy burr and flow into a clean spicy finish with some underlying prune fruit. There isn't much acidity, and the direction is taken by the spice and the tannins. If you like very ripe, low-acidity fruit driven wines you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Poderi Elia
Poderi Elia Serracapelli Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Impenetrable pyrope with black cherry rim. Poured ink suggesting tremendous concentration, and it brings to mind the wines made at the height of the modernist movement. It's distinct with respect to everything else poured now. The bouquet is powerful, with prune fruit supported by some sweetness and cedary spice; I also found some almond blossoms. Concentration, and again different from all the others. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with rich cherry prune fruit supported by mineral acidity and by very smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean mineral finish with prune plum underpinning. It's extremely ripe, and extremely concentrated, and if you like the style, which is frankly atypical now (it would have been less so 10 years ago) you will enjoy it. But it's a wine you should consciously select.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Ressia
Azienda Agricola Ressia Canova Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, and oaky, with sweetish cherry prune fruit supported by cedar and spice, and by hints of menthol as well. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich cherry prune fruit supported by brighter than expected acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long berry fruit finish with lasting warmth. It's pleasant in a concentrated, very ripe key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. If you prefer fruit more towards berry than plum you will like it a little less.
2 stars

Azienda Agricola Sottimano
Azienda Agricola Sottimano Cottà Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some shellac and cedar, which are both manifestations of oak, and more swishing brings up some berry fruit as well. But it's very young, and heavily oaked. On the palate it's ample, with richer than expected sour cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and peppery spice that has a strong bitter undercurrent, while the tannins are angry, with a marked peppery burr. It's a babe learning to crawl and needs at least a couple of years to digest the oak it had forced upon it, but there is sufficient fruit for it to succeed, I think. One could drink it now with a steak, but patience has its rewards.
2 stars

Moccagatta
Moccagatta Basarin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense and intensely oaky, with considerable cedar and some berry fruit, though the cedar does a good job of covering most everything else up. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by alcohol and cedar, with the interaction producing an effect that brings cola to mind, and flows into a fairly sweet prune finish with a savory underpinning to provide balance. It's quite young, and needs to come together. If you like heavily oaked wines with very ripe fruit you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Moccagatta Basarin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and greenish, with spicy cherry plum fruit supported by considerable cedar and some hardwood ash; with further swishing the oaky components become stronger. On the palate it's full and quite ripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by moderate but fresh berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have an inky bitter overlay -- some graphite, but also cold coffee -- and flow into a decidedly dry tannic finish with savory accents. It's quite ripe but does maintain some brightness of fruit, but the fruit is overshadowed by the oak that was added to contain it; there is perhaps sufficient acidity to give the wine time to absorb some of the oak, but it will never absorb it all, and it will play a pivotal role throughout the wine's life. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Punset
Punset Basarin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is spicy, with considerable cedar and some sandalwood, with savory notes as well supporting fairly intense berry fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by brighter acidity than I expected, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long cherry laced finish. It's pleasant in a decidedly modern style but needs time, at least a year, for the nose to begin to fall into place. Assuming the nose follows the palate, it will do very nice things with time.
2 stars

Cascina Luisin
Cascina Luisin Sorì Paolin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is a bit rustic, with wet stable straw mingled with a certain savory pungency and some hazelnut skin. The past speaking to the present. On the palate it's ample and savory, with moderate fruit -- it's more minerality carrying things, and supported by tannins that are decidedly peppery. This said, it is interesting, and displays considerable character. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style. It won't work for you if you prefer more fruit forward wines.
2 stars

Fratelli Giacosa
Fratelli Giacosa Basarin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Pale almandine with brownish black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is bright, with lively slightly balsamic cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and some spice, and also a fair amount of alcohol. On the palate it's bright, with lively cherry fruit that has slight balsamic notes and is supported by berry fruit acidity with balsamic underpinning, and by tannins that have a warm burr and flow into a fairly long almost brambly berry fruit finish with lasting warmth. Pleasant in a traditional key, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or roasts now, or also age well, becoming lacy and ethereal with time. Worth seeking out if you like the style.
2 stars

Fratelli Giacosa Barbaresco Basarin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with juicy yellow peach fruit (which can appear in a red wine), mingled with red berry fruit and floral accents, and some greenish spice. Pleasant in a very youthful key, and there is also bitterness to provide definition. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by dusky mineral berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight greenish burr, and flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish. Graceful, though very young, and will drink well with a steak or roast now; it also will age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Adriano Marco e Vittorio
Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections. The bouquet is unusual, with an initial rush of salty grilled beef that is, I think, wood fruit interaction, followed by balsamic notes with underlying spice, sea salt, and acidity. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich sour cherry plum fruit supported by sweetness that comes from alcohol and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a moderately long fairly sweet cherry plum finish with a dried orange peel tannic underpinning. It's heavily oaked and quite concentrated, with quite a bit of alcohol as well. Big and powerful, but not graceful.
1 star

Adriano Barbaresco Basarin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with balsam-laced berry fruit supported by spice and some cedar; it's quite young, but displays pleasing depth. On the palate it's rich, with elegant plum cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and dusky tannins that have a warm cedar-laced burr and flow into a bitter cedar laced finish that continues at length, with decidedly bitter undertones. If you like the style you will enjoy it but you have to like the style; this said, it is also quite young and will benefit from another year, or better yet two in bottle.
2 stars

Fratelli Giacosa
Fratelli Giacosa Basarin Vigna Gianmatè Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is deft, with floral accents and rosa canina mingled with some spice, greenish Nebbiolo accents, and underlying berry fruit. Nice depth and balance, though it's very young. On the palate it's ample and bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by sour cherry raspberry acidity and by tannins that are quite young, and as a result brash, but promise to become quite smooth as it ages, which it will, very well, for a decade at least. Worth seeking out. If you prefer the more traditional style, and even if you're a modernist you'll find things to think about.
90

Quite a difference here:

Fratelli Giacosa Barbaresco Basarin Vigna Gianmatè DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by cedar and some greenish accents; it's not quite like sniffing a cedar chest, but close. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by dusky bitterness more than acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean berry fruit finish. Pleasant, displaying considerable polish, and if you like the style, which is quite smooth -- the acidity is held firmly in check -- you will enjoy it. I would give it another year at least for the nose to fold in, and drink it with hearty roasts or stews.
2 stars

Pasquale Pelissero
Pasquale Pelissero Bricco San Giuliano Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Brownish almandine with dusky black reflections and paling almandine rim. The bouquet is spicy, with a fair amount of alcohol, but not much in the way of fruit. Ground black pepper in abundance, however. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a peppery burr and flow into a fairly bright berry fruit finish with tannic peppery underpinning. It's heavily oaked and very young, but the palate does have fairly nice fruit, and does display direction. If the nose follows it, it will be pleasant in a couple of years, but it needs the time to come together.
2 stars

Marchesi di Barolo
Marchesi di Barolo Serragrilli Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. Looks concentrated. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up hints of cola that are wood-fruit interaction, and some sweetish notes that are alcohol, and slight yellow peach. Very up in the air. On the palate it's ample and sweet, with cherry plum fruit supported by moderate plum acidity, which does provide direction, and very smooth well polished tannins that flow into a moderately long prune finish with a fair amount of alcoholic warmth. Lots of concentration and lots of oak, and considerable ripeness to start with. I would have liked a tighter weave.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Bricco Grilli
Azienda Agricola Bricco Grilli Serragrilli Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep brown almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet us muted, though swishing brings up some shoe polish and spice. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly rich cherry prune fruit supported by brighter than expected mineral acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that owe much of their character and polish to oak, and flow into a warm prune finish with coffee grounds and cocoa, both derived from oak. It's concentrated and polished, but the oak overshadows everything else.
1 star

F.lli Barale
F.lli Barale Serraboella Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and greenish, with quite a bit of alcohol too, and not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with brighter than expected berry fruit -- cherry with some bitter accents, and supported by slightly greenish berry fruit acidity -- with tannins that are ample and have a peppery burr derived from oak that flows into a fairly long peppery finish. It's very young and needs time; I found myself liking the palate more than I thought I would given the nose, and would give it a couple of years in the hopes that the nose will catch up and develop complexity. If it does it will be pleasant in a decidedly international key.
1 star

Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa
Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa Barbaresco Tettineive DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry fruit laced with cedar and greenish accents, and supported by clean alcohol and spice. Pleasant in a rather muscular fresh key, and it gives an impression of being at the start of a journey. On the palate it's fairly rich, with clean cherry fruit supported by deft sour cherry fruit and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a rather bitter finish that continues at length. It's quite young, and needs another couple of years to come together, but is pleasant in a powerful middle-of-the-road key, and will drink quite well in the short term with flavorful roasts or stews, and will also age well for 10'-15 years.
2 stars

Barbaresco Riserva From Barbaresco

Dante Rivetti
Dante Rivetti Bricco Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Almandine with brownish black reflections and orange rim. The bouquet is rich, and decidedly old style with bright balsamic accents mingled with wet stable straw and savory notes, and also pleasant spice from grapes. Quite a bit going on. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich slightly bitter sour berry fruit supported by leathery tannins and moderate leathery more than citric acidity, while the finish is fairly ling and dusky, with balsamic accents. Quite traditional, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. But you have to like the style; if you do it will work well now with grilled meats or roasts, and will also age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Adriano Marco e Vittorio
Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with considerable cedar and some coffee grounds mingled with spice and alcohol, which confers a slight degree of sweetness. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense rather generic berry fruit supported by barely enough mineral acidity to provide direction, and by smooth sweet tannins that drift into a clean mineral finish. It's lacking in verve, and is as a result settled.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Massimo Rivetti
Azienda Agricola Massimo Rivetti Serraboella Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2005
Tasted May 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is oaky, with considerable cedar that confers a certain pungency and some savory accents, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, and brighter than I expected, with fairly rich sour cherry fruit supported by clean almost cheeky sour cherry acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a long warm finish. It's very young, but the palate shows promise and I would give the nose another year or perhaps more to catch up. It grew upon me.
2 stars

Barbaresco tasted only in Fall 2010, by winery

Batasiolo
Batasiolo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry fruit supported by underbrush and some greenish cedar, with alcohol as well; it's pleasant but in mid stride, and needs another year. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by dusky berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have greenish burr to them and flow into a clean fairly tannic finish supported by alcohol and bitterness. It's not quite a work in progress, but almost; and needs another couple of years to come together; went it does it will be pleasant in a powerful fairly modern key, and age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Rivetto dal 1902
Rivetto Barbaresco Cè Vanin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and alcohol with slight brambly accents. It's shut tight, awaiting the future. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by warmth and sour berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that are warm and smooth, with some brambly accents. It displays a certain grace in a lighter key, and will drink nicely with a roast, though I would give it a few years, and expect it to become lacier with time. It's not as powerful as one would expect a Barbaresco to be, and you have to like this fairly light tart style.
1 star

San Silvestro
San Silvestro Barbaresco Magno DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with slight dusky berry fruit supported by some slightly vegetal acidity and by some graphite shaving bitterness. I'd have liked more fruit. On the palate it's fairly rich, with sour cherry fruit supported by bitterness more than acidity, and by tannins that have a dry leafy burr and flow into a rather bitter finish. It's dusky, and brooding, and this is because of the bitterness, which holds sway over the fruit. It's a particular wine, and if you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style. If you prefer fruitier, brighter wines, it won't work for you.
1 star

Azienda Agricola Socrè
Azienda Agricola Socrè Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense and vinous, with cherry fruit supported by hints of balsam and warmth, and by some gum Arabic as well. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by warm slightly sour cherry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm finish that's fairly long. It's fairly direct, and its tannins have a slightly settled feel to them; it's pleasant enough but I would have liked more depth and vigor from a Barbaresco. This said, it will work very well with red meats off the grill or from the oven, and may do interesting things with time.
1 star

Socrè Barbaresco Roncaglie DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is vinous, with brambly cherry fruit supported by some greenish accents and slight underlying spice; the overall impression is rather harmonious in a youthful key. On the palate it's direct, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by dusky mineral acidity that has a bitter feel to it, and by tannins that are dry and fairly light. I found myself wanting more.
1 star

Michele Chiarlo
Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Reyna DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rather blocky with gum Arabic and hints of gunflint spice, but not much in the way of fruit. There is, however, a smoky pungency. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported more by bitterness than by acidity, and by tannins that are quite smooth, and flow into a dusky bitter-sour cherry finish. The fruit is pleasant enough, but I would have liked more acidity, because it's a bit settled and lacks the verve one would expect of a young Barbaresco.
1 star

Prinsi
Prinsi Barbaresco Gaia Principe DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some berry fruit with savory accents and underlying leaf tobacco. On the palate it's fairly rich, with graceful slightly sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that are sufficient to provide support, but that could have displayed more oomph than they do. This said, it is pleasant on the palate in a somewhat lighter key, and I would give the nose another year to catch up.
2 stars

Prinsi Barbaresco Gallina DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Dusky almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with considerable greenish cedar that blankets most everything, though some spice does emerge. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by acidity that's more mineral than fruit-derived, and by tannins that are quite smooth and nicely polished. It's quite international in style, and if you like the style is well made, though the oak has knocked the acidity back more than I might have liked; it will drink well with grilled meats or hearty stews, and will also age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Cascina delle Rose
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale almandine with back reflections and almandine rim tending towards orange. The bouquet is a bit wild, with balsamic notes and wet stable straw supporting some tart berry fruit; it's pleasant in a very traditional key. On the palate it's ample, with warm rather balsamic cherry fruit supported by balsamic acidity and ample tannins that have a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long sour finish with balsamic underpinning. It's old style, and if you like the style you will enjoy it, though I would have liked a little more richness of fruit; it's not settled, but isn't quite as rich as it might be. It will in any case drink well with a steak or a roast, and will age nicely for a number of years, becoming lacy with time. I might give it said time, because it will take advantage of it.
1 star

Ceretto
Ceretto Barbaresco Asij DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry prune fruit supported by spice and quite a bit of cedar with slight balsamic accents as well. On the palate it's fairly rich, with savory cherry fruit supported by cedar-laced tannic bitterness with savory balsamic accents, and by moderate acidity, while it flows into a clean savory finish with a cedar-laced bitter tannic underpinning. If you like the style, which is heavily dependant upon oak, you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style. If you prefer brighter fruitier wines it won't work as well for you. I found myself wishing for more fruit.
1 star

Ceretto Barbaresco Bricco Asili DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim paling to almandine. The bouquet is fairly intense, and young, with a mixture of cedar and some berry fruit with underlying gum Arabic; at present cedar predominates, but this is also an effect of youth. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have a slight greenish cedary burr, and flow into a clean savory cherry finish. Pleasant, in a fairly modern key, and will drink well with grilled meats (steaks) or roasts, though it needs at least a couple of years to come together, and will age well for many years more. Even if you're more traditionally minded you will find things to think about here, and we're at the outset of a long journey.
88-90

Ceretto Barbaresco Bernadot DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim paling to white. The bouquet is fairly intense and decidedly oaky, with an abundance of vanilla and cedar mingled with some greenish notes. Oak casts a blanket over the wine. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly intense bitterness but not much in the ay of fruit, and this is again an effect of oak, supported by fairly smooth dusky tannins. The wine is (for me) overly oaked; if you like the style you will like it, but you have to like wines that are intensely oaked.
1 star

Mauro Bussi
Mauro Bussi Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit wild, with balsamic accents and spice supported by savory pungency and wet stable straw. It's intense, but not fruity. On the palate it's ample and fairly savory, with sour cherry fruit supported by sea salt and some warm acidity, while the tannins are warm and fairly balsamic, flowing into a balsamic finish with a warm underlying burr. It's very traditional, bordering upon rustic, and if you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style. If you do, it will also age well for a decade or more.
2 stars

Bersano
Bersano Barbaresco Mantico DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Pale almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is surprisingly young, with jammy sweet plum cherry fruit supported by alcohol and spice; there's something voluptuous about it, and greenish accents emerge with time. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich cherry red currant fruit supported by moderately intense red currant acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight cedary burr, and flow into a clean fresh cherry plum finish. It shows considerable polish, and is pleasant in a fairly international style; if you like this rich fruit-driven style you will enjoy it very much, but if you prefer more traditional expressions of Nebbiolo it won't work as well for you.
2 stars

Tomaso Gianolio
Tomaso Gianolio Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, and quite young, with cherry fruit laced with yellow peach, and some greenish accents and pleasing underlying spice. Very young. On the palate it's ample, with jammy cherry plum fruit supported by some sweetness, and by smooth sweet tannins, while the acidity is fairly bright, and flows into a clean cedar laced finish. It's very young, in a fairly international key, and needs at least a couple of years to come together; this said, I'd have liked greater richness of fruit, which at present suffers the oak. In short, it needs time, and is a wine you will like if you like wines in the more international style.
2 stars

Tenute Cise Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy
Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Gaijun Martinenga DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with a great load of dusky bitter cedar at fist swish, followed by some gum Arabic and a fair amount of alcohol. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich minerality more than fruit, supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean savory finish with savory tannic underpinning. The wine is a child of oak, and you have to appreciate this in a wine to like it.
1 star

Marchesi di Gresì Barbaresco Camp Gros DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to almandine at the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with cedar laced red berry fruit supported by a fair amount of alcohol and some spice, and also some gum Arabic. It has a biting quality to it. On the palate it's ample, and fairly direct, with sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a warm cedar laced overlay and low into a clean savory fairly tart finish. It's quite direct, and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews in the short term, but also has sufficient acidity to age well for a number of years, and I might wait for it, because it will be more interesting with time than it is now.
2 stars

Pio Cesare
Pio Cesare Barbaresco Bricco di Treiso DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with quite a bit of cedar mingled with some dusky notes and savory accents, but there's not much fruit. The palate reflects the nose; there's considerable cedary bitterness, but not much in the way of fruit, and it flow into a decidedly cedar-laced bitter finish. I'd have liked more fruit, because oak is stepping in heavily to take its place, and while it does take the helm it's not quite the same thing.
1 star

Pio Cesare Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and smoky, with cherry fruit supported by some greenish accents and leaf tobacco, and by savory spice. Quite young, and is still getting its bearings. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with moderately intense bitter cherry fruit supported by savory accents that have a distinct cedary overlay, and flow into a decidedly bitter cedar laced finish. It's pleasant enough, in a cedar-laced key, and you will enjoy it if you like the style, though I would give it a year for the oak to fold in.
2 stars

Casetta
Casetta Barbaresco V. Case Nere DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with balsam-laced cherry fruit supported by some cedar, greenish accents, and fairly intense spice. On the palate it's pleasant, with moderately rich cherry fruit supported by deft berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a slight splintery burr and flow into a clean fresh rather tannic finish. It's fairly international in key, and displays nice depth, though I'd have liked greater richness of fruit; it will in any case drink well with roasts or stews in the short term, and also has the legs to age well for a decade or more.
1 star

Carlo Giacosa
Carlo GiacosaBarbaresco Narin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with greenish berry fruit supported by some greenish almond blossoms and peach pit bitterness, and by greenish alcohol laced spice. On the palate it's ample, and rather soft, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by smoky bitter berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, and flow into a clean rather sour cherry finish. I'd have liked greater depth and richness to the fruit.
1 star

Manera
Manera Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Fairly deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and quite fresh, with greenish accents mingled with dusky peach put bitterness and a fair amount of leaf tobacco supported by alcohol and spice; there's not much fruit. On the palate it's richer than the nose suggests, with fairly bright sour cherry fruit supported by savory berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly bright berry fruit finish with spicy tannic underpinning. It's very young, but approachable in a rather dusky key, and needs at least a couple of years to come together. It will drink well in the short term with grilled meats or light stews, and will age nicely for a decade or more.
2 stars

Lodali
Lodali Barbaresco Rocche dei 7 Fratelli DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright slightly greenish forest berry fruit supported by greenish accents and some peach pit bitterness. Pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by deft rather dusky berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight bitter burr, and flow into a clean bright cherry fruit finish with bright sour berry fruit accents. It's quite young, and also quite approachable, though I would give it at least a couple of years to come together, and expect it to age for a decade or more. If you must drink it now, drink it with a steak -- porterhouse cut -- or roast beef cooked rare and sliced thick. Or similar.
2 stars

Oddero
Oddero Barbaresco Gallina DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is dusky, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by some greenish accents and cedar, and a fair amount of underlying alcohol. On the palate it's ample, with moderately intense berry fruit supporte dmore by spicy bitterness than acidity, while the tannins are ample and fairly soft, with bitter undertones. I'd have liked more richness of fruit, and greater brightness of the acidity, which flags some.
1 star

Rizzi
Rizzi Barbaresco DOCG 2006
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling overtones orange. The bouquet is fairly intense, and rather dusky, with fairly rich fruit supported by some bitter herbal accents and clean spice with some underlying alcohol. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by deft sour cherry acidity and tannins that have a slight burr to them, and flow into a clean sour berry fruit laced vegetal finish that's fairly long. It's pleasant in a scrappy key, and will drink nicely now with grilled meats or roasts, while it also has sufficient acidity to age well for a decade or more. Pleasant, and if you like the style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Boffa
Boffa Barbaresco Ovello DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and black cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, with quite a bit of cedar overlaying vegetal notes and some red berry fruit. Very young, and still coming together. On the palate it's fairly rich, with moderately intense red berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and moderate acidity that flow into a clean fairly tart finish. I'd have liked greater depth and elegance to the fruit, which is a bit settled, though with time the tannins, which now display considerable one-track tobacco leaf bitterness, will gain depth and display more complexity. In short, it needs time; at present it's a (powerful) child in swaddling clothes. It will, I think, reward those who have patience.
2 stars

Boffa Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, and decidedly bitter, with a great rush of graphite shavings followed by brambly mineral accents and savory spice. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by dusky bitter accents that flow into a clean rather bitter finish. It's quick to write, and revolves more around graphite shavings and savory notes than fruit, especially on the nose, but is pleasant, and will do interesting things with time -- it needs at least time, at least a couple of years, to begin to come into its own, When it does it will be pleasant in a decidedly mineral key that will make it a particular wine, not something for everyone. But those who like the style will enjoy it very much.
2 stars

Boffa Barbaresco Pajè DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some pencil shavings mingled with some berry fruit and fairly intense India ink/pencil shaving bitterness. On the palate it's fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity, and by tannins that have a warm slightly greenish burr and flow into a clean fairly dry tannic finish. It needs time, at least a year and perhaps two, and will drink nicely with grilled meats or stews at that point, though I think it could do interesting things in the future as well., In short, a wine that will work well with foods now, and that will develop nicely with time too.
2 stars

Elvio Cogno
Cogno Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Lively almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up mentholated spice mingled with some cedar and moderately intense berry fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry prune fruit supported by moderately intense sour prune cherry acidity, and by tannins that have a warm splintery burr and flow into a moderately intense splintery bitter finish. It needs a couple of years for the tannins to smooth, and will likely always be better with foods than on its own -- wine is, after all, a companion to food, so this is a Good Thing -- and I would drink it with a steak or a hearty roast.
2 stars

Piazzo Armando
Piazzo Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with decidedly greenish accents mingled with peach pit bitterness and savory notes. Very young, and needs time; it brings to mind looking at toddlers in a nursery school. On the palate it's ample and softer than I expected from the nose, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by bitter accents and by tannins that are fairly smooth, with clean bitter notes that flow into a fairly bitter finish. It needs time, at least a year, and I'd have liked greater richness of fruit; overtones isn't really settled, but brings to mind a person who used to lift (lots of) weights and has maintained the muscle while loosing definition.
1 star

Fontanafredda
Fontanafredda Barbaresco Coste Rubin DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Impenetrable pyrope with black reflections and cherry rim. Looks quite charged. The bouquet is intense and young, with a mixture of plum and cherry berry fruit mingled with cedar, and supported by warm spicy accents. Nice balance in a youthful, fairly international key. On the palate it's ample, with rich plum prune fruit supported by dusky minerality and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly rich, fairly sweet prune finish. It revolves around considerable ripeness -- no tart cherry flavors here -- and if you like the style, which is approachable but in a softer key, you will enjoy it. If you prefer brighter, more biting wines it won't work as well for you.
2 stars

Enrico Serafino
Enrico Serafino Barbaresco DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim paling to almandine. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some plum cherry fruit supported by greenish mentholated spice and jammy plum accents. Young, in a ripe key. On the palate it's ample, and soft, with fairly rich plum cherry fruit supported by mentholated spice and warm sour berry fruit acidity, and also by leafy mineral bitterness that flows into a clean savory finish with bitter overtones. Pleasant, though very young; it needs at least a couple of years to get its bearings, and when it has will age nicely for a decade at least. In terms of accompaniments, I would be tempted by the classic porterhouse steak, or by a hearty roast or stew.
2 stars

Fontanabianca
Fontanabianca Barbaresco Serra Boella DOCG 2007
Tasted October 2010
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with spice laced with moderate berry fruit; it gives an impression of being in mid-stride. On the palate it's fairly rich, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by deft sour berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long warm tannic sour cherry finish that continues at length. Elegant, though very young, and while one could open it with a steak now, it will give a much better accounting of itself in 3-5 years. In short, a wine to wait for, and it will improve with time.
2 stars

Winding down, a tremendous thanks to the folks at Albeisa for inviting me in the spring, and to Carlo Macchi for inviting me to taste again in the fall. Thanks also to Marinella Minetti and Wellcom for gathering the samples we tasted in the fall. Without her help the fall tasting would not have been possible.

4 comments:

Maurizio Fava said...

thank you Kyle, a really useful and complete review

Scott Clemens said...

Hi Kyle,
I've only had a few of the 2006 and 2007's. I've noticed the alcohol level creeping up over the past decade. Do you think this is due to warmer vintages, or winemaking preference?

Kyle Phillips said...

Hi Scott,

I think that climate does play a role, but changes in agricultural technique are also important. Farming to lower yields and higher concentraitons results in increased sugar content and more alcohol, for most everyone. And then there are the winemakers who have signed on with the latest trend, phenolic or tannic ripeness (ripe, sweet as opposed to green tannins), which has an influence because phenolic ripeness lags behind sugar ripeness, and therefore by the time the tannins are ripe the sugar concentration is way up (while acidity drops), resulting in more alcohol in the wines, which are softer because there's also less acidity, and (of course) riper in terms of fruit.

cantinecrola.it said...

Why not a review on Nebbiolo?