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Barbaresco Barolo

The Wines of Piemonte

Wines of PiemonteNebbiolo is the source of Piemonte’s most complex, distinguished, and famous wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo possesses almost exclusive affinity with Piemonte, as its performance outside this heralded zone is serviceable at best. Despite its marked rapport with Piemonte, Nebbiolo still proves to be a difficult partner, a fact directly implied by its provision of less than 3% of the area’s production. A demanding one, it requires significant exposure to the summer sun and ripens very late in the season.

While Barbaresco is considered to be softer than Barolo, given the appellation’s primary soil type (calcareous), many examples defy this convenient point of difference. In general, however, it tends to be slightly finer, less tannic, and more elegant than Barolo, and typically offers greater approachability. A significant dimension of a wine’s character is influenced by the medium selected for aging as well as the represented site. In traditional practice, Barolos and Barbarescos are fermented in large wooden botti and the maceration process may extend over a two-month period. In modern methodology, which began to evolve in the 1960s, both maceration and fermentation periods were reduced. A hallmark of the movement was the introduction of new French oak barrels, which is widely attributed to Angelo Gaja.
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Cantalupo Rosato Il Mimo 2016 750ml
Cantalupo Rosato Il Mimo 2016 750ml
Price: $16.99

A beautiful coppery pink in the glass, this ‘16 Rosato wafts with currants, strawberries, and raspberries; rose petals, truffles, licorice and earth provide subtle balance. Full-bodied and luscious, this wine unfolds with surprising complexity and a voluptuous mouth-feel--it might very well be your new favorite rosé! Deriving from a trio of Piemontese vineyards (Breclema, Carella, and Valera) with alluvial soils marked by sand and minerals, this mono-varietal Nebbiolo rosato has contact with skins for one day before separation and fermentation in temperature-controlled tanks; the wine ages in stainless steel to highlight terroir and grape typicity.
Ca' dei Mandorli Verdecielo Gavi 2015 750ml
Ca' dei Mandorli Verdecielo Gavi 2015 750ml
Price: $21.99

Exotic citrus fruits, buttered toast, crushed white wildflowers, and kisses of spice and minerals dance in this fresh, elegant ’15 Verdecielo Gavi. A sweet inner perfume is  complemented by a scrumptious strain of acidity, making this wine an ideal complement for fish, seafood, salads or aperitivi. Deriving from a southwest-facing vineyard in a natural amphitheater the heart of the Gavi DOCG, the Cortese grapes are cryo-macerated, a process where the juice sits on the skins at an extremely low temperature prior to fermentation, which lasts 24 hours in stainless steel to enhance the fruit and other flavors. Fermentation lasts three weeks before the wine is aged for four months in steel and then in bottle for an additional four to six months. About 500 cases are produced each vintage.
Ca dei Mandorli Brachetto d'Acqui Donne Boschi 2015 750ml
Ca dei Mandorli Brachetto d'Acqui Donne Boschi 2015 750ml
Price: $22.00

Nothing goes better with chocolate than light, fizzy and flavorful Ca dei Mandorli Brachetto d'Acqui, yet this wine also perfectly accompanies cheesecake or cream-based desserts. From the Piemonte region of northwest Italy. Brachetto d’Aqui, a slightly fizzy but not overly sweet red, is similar in aroma and taste profile to Recioto from the Veneto--you get the strawberry and floral notes on the nose, but Brachetto edges more towards the medium-bodied palate. Deriving from the estate’s southeast-facing Donne dei Boschi vineyard, the grapes first ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, followed by fermentation in autoclave to create the persistent perlage in this pleasantly fizzy wine. With its notes of bitter almond, roses and berries, Ca dei Mandorli’s Brachetto is an ideal dessert wine--but it’s also terrific as a complement to French toast, pancakes or other sweet brunch items!
Quinto Chionetti San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani 2011 750ml
Quinto Chionetti San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani 2011 750ml
Price: $23.99

Bright with acidity and extremely food-friendly, the ’11 Dolcetto San Luigi is just entering its drinking window. Fresh tart cherries and sweet berries waft with tilled earth, baking spices, woodsy notes, dried herbs, and crushed flower petals in this easy-drinking wine. Chewy tannins cling to the cheeks in this beautifully structured wine. Fermented with only natural yeasts and vinified entirely in stainless steel, this cru Dolcetto offers pure, unmitigated Dogliani terroir. Deriving from a south-southwestern plot of mixed soils, grapes ferment in stainless steel for about ten days, and the wine ages in stainless steel for about eleven months before bottling.
Quinto Chionetti Briccolero Dolcetto di Dogliani 2013 750ml
Quinto Chionetti Briccolero Dolcetto di Dogliani 2013 750ml
Price: $25.99
Currently Unavailable

Sleek, polished, and sophisticated, the ’13 Dolcetto Briccolero glides across the palate with a silky feel. This is a nuanced wine that marries its black cherries with warm baking spices, minty herbs, licorice, chocolate, and forest floor. This bottling is approachable enough to drink now but it has the stuffing to age for years to come. While the estate’s Dolcetto San Luigi is a transparent expression of terroir, Chionetti’s Dolcetto Briccolero uses protocol to enhance longevity and complexity. Deriving from a southeastern-facing plot of mixed soils, grapes ferment in stainless steel for about fifteen days, and the wine ages in steel tanks for about eleven months, followed by eleven months in cask.
Cornarea Roero Arneis 2015 750ml
Cornarea Roero Arneis 2015 750ml
Price: $26.99

A great alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, this dry, crisp Arneis captures the best of these great varieties have to offer, while adding a decidedly Piemonte spin. Aromatic and vibrant, the 2015 Cornarea Roero Arneis bursts with grapefruit, green pears, underbrush, crushed river rocks and white flowers. This wine echoes these notes on the complex, surprisingly weighty palate, and a kinetic acidity and vibrant saline minerality propel it to a lingering, persistent finish. Deriving from organically tended vines grown in mineral-rich sandy soils, the grapes macerate in whole bunches, and the wine ages entirely in neutral stainless steel to preserve terroir. Food-friendly and surprisingly sturdy in structure, this Roero Arneis can accompany a wide range of foods, from Vitello Tonnato to Robiola cheese to BBQ or shellfish; it’s an ideal anytime, anywhere white!
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2013 750ml
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2013 750ml
Price: $29.99

The child of a cool, extended growing season, this ’13 Pian Romualdo Barbera d’Alba layers its juicy red and black fruits over toasted nuts, crushed flowers, dark chocolate, and mineral-rich earth. So vibrant that it practically shimmers across the palate, this low production Barbera is a rare bottling of the “People’s Grape” that is definitely age-worthy. Tightly wound and very focused, this wine wraps its pure fruits around a core of nervy acidity and firm minerality; while this bottling could use some time in the cellar, it’ll age beautifully. Deriving from Barbera grown in the Pian Romualdo plot, the grapes for this wine enjoy temperature-controlled fermentation, and the wine ages for a year in oak casks, followed by four months in bottle before release.
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2013 750ml
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2013 750ml
Price: $29.99

Tarry earth and crushed flower petals frame the red and blue fruits in this ’13 Langhe Rosso; kisses of spice and underbrush complete the nose. Firm, fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity propel this structured, balanced wine to a thrilling, lingering finish. Freisa, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon may seem strange blend for the likes of Aldo Conterno, but it's nothing short of delicious. A blend of 80% old-vine Freisa, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, Aldo Conterno’s Langhe Rosso, which has replaced the estate's famed Quartetto, is an incredible bottle of everyday red. Conterno harvests the grapes from vineyards in Bussia, then vinifies the wine in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and ages it in barriques for a year before bottling.
San Giuliano Barbera Fiore di Marcorino 2014 750ml
San Giuliano Barbera Fiore di Marcorino 2014 750ml
Price: $29.99

2014 was a challenging year in Piemonte, but you’d never know it from this food-friendly, elegant cru Barbera. Roses, warm baking spices, fresh earth, and a touch of leather frame the juicy red and blue fruits; a sweet inner perfume peeks on the palate, complemented by fresh acidity and a kiss of minerality. San Giuliano, run by Giulio Pastura and wife Mariella, is a collection of vineyards ranging across about seventeen acres in the northeastern Piemonte zones of Roero, Asti, Neive and Barbaresco. This wine derives from vines ranging from fifteen to sixty years old grown in a southern-facing parcel of limestone marl. This wine ferments in stainless steel and ages in barrels for ten to twelve months before bottling.
Poderi Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera d'Alba 2007 750ml
Poderi Aldo Conterno Conca Tre Pile Barbera d'Alba 2007 750ml
Price: $35.99

There is one word that comes to mind when sipping Aldo Conterno’s Barbera: delicious. Inky purple in the glass and silky smooth on the palate, this wine is deeply tasty, very complex and thoroughly enjoyable. Barbera’s trademark zingy acidity, ripe cherries and pretty floral perfume work hold hands and sing an especially joyful song when held in the hands of the maestro that is Aldo Conterno.