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20 Years of Age Direct from the Langhe Hills and Piedmont's Under-the-Radar Estates
August 27, 2020

Twenty Years of Age Direct from the Langhe Hills. The Under-the-Radar Cru Barbaresco Riserva Delivers Rare Value with Perfect Provenance. Final Allocation of Piedmont's Greatest Value.

“Dante Rivetti is located in Bricco Neive, a hillside stretch of vineyards located apart the center of Neive. Although the Barbarescos from Bricco di Neive are often powerful and intense, Rivetti's wines show the more ethereal, graceful side of Nebbiolo.”
– Antonio Galloni

The hottest selling wines this Summer may surprise you – as we always refer to them as Autumn in a glass; it was the prized Nebbiolo of the Langhe. And no, it was not Barolo, but the sibling Barbaresco. We have just restocked the SOLD OUT artisanal favorites of Poderi Colla and Cigliuti one last time and proud to say they have arrived. However, if you really want to fall back in love with Barbaresco again – you need to experience the noble wine with age! Here is best way to do it without the wait.

While the eyes of Nebbiolo enthusiasts and collectors are justifiably on the highly anticipated releases of the 2016 vintage, Italian Wine Merchants has once again taken a step back — 21 years back, that is! In fact, the wines that captivated us most on a recent buying trip weren’t limited to the 2016s, we were amazed when we revisited a 1999 release that comes direct from the importer’s cellar. We had the opportunity to experience the wines in a celebrated lineup that included the likes of 2016 Percarlo, 1996 Flaccianello, 1996 Oddero Rocche Rivera, and 2016 Cavallotto Bricco Boschis. It was the underdog 1999 Dante Rivetti Barbaresco Bricco Riserva that was in its sweet spot, and this wine surprised, stunned, and over delivered!

Enamored by the wine and its value, we have gone back and enthusiastically requested a quantity of this cellar gem to be delivered in mint condition! This is another one of those wines that the critics often misjudged over the years, and wine-lovers need to revisit and enjoy over a meal — and not taste in a cold cellar — to reevaluate the wine. But what separates the bottles featured today is provenance. Where else can you find a single-vineyard Riserva with 21 years of age, perfect provenance, and an absolutely stunning profile at this price? Sure, there are mature Barolo and Barbaresco from 1999 on the market, but have the wines been moved or stored without temperature-controlled conditions? These wines have not moved in two decades.

IWM was able to obtain a few rare cases of Rivetti’s 1999 in pristine condition. This is a tremendous opportunity to experience the evolution spectrum at $79.99, as in our minds, there simply is no wine as magical as an aged Barbaresco or Barolo!

Featured Wines: The Aged Barbaresco of Dante Rivetti and More...
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While Barbaresco is synonymous with the single-vineyard, triple-digit “Goliath” bottlings from Bruno Giacosa and Angelo Gaja, whose wines achieved critical perfection in the standout 2016 vintage, they can be cost prohibitive for the mere mortal. In true IWM fashion, we appreciate the overachieving underdog and are always looking for that quintessential below-the-radar artisanal producer of Nebbiolo. While the Rivetti family has been crafting Barbaresco from the prized vineyards of Neive since the 1800s, the wines remain under the radar for good reason. More than 70% of Dante Rivetti’s wines don’t make it out of Italy because locals purchase their wines year after year. Rivetti’s Barbaresco and Barbaresco Riservas are scarce, and the estate produces just 500 cases (7,000 bottles) from Bricco di Neive in a good vintage. 1999 is a historic vintage in Piemonte, but in the region of Barbaresco, wines need to be chosen wisely as hail was an issue in certain areas, and wines need to be revisited. Today’s ’99 Rivetti is worth the trip.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

The Rivetti family have been farming in Neive, arguably Barbaresco’s most elite commune, since the mid-1800s. Giuseppe Rivetti began producing Moscato d'Asti and Nebbiolo for local consumption in the 1950s, thereby giving birth to the company of Fratelli Rivetti, a farm and winery that sits a stone's throw away from the legendary Bruno Giacosa in Bricco di Neive. A prime high altitude vineyard site, “Bricco di Neive" is renowned for yielding perfect ripening grapes and capturing all of the best conditions that the area can offer. From the 1970s until about five years ago, Dante Rivetti built the company to what it is today, becoming a top producer of Moscato d'Asti, Barbera d'Alba and Barbaresco. Low in production numbers and rarely exported outside of Italy, Rivetti’s single-vineyard Barbaresco Bricco di Neive comes from the estate’s two-hectare vineyard called "Vigna Micca,” a completely white-soiled vineyard that allows for Barbaresco that exudes a glorious elegance and can be enjoyed in its youth. The majority of Rivetti's wines are aged in large Slovenian oak barrels, second and third turn, which they feel works best to present the classic Neive style.

1999 Dante Rivetti Barbaresco Riserva Bricco di Neive
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “It is something quite extraordinary to have a twenty-year old wine of perfect provenance. In this case, the wine has not moved in more than two decades, and it simply stuns today. This is one of those Barbarescos that showcases the magic of aged Nebbiolo without the excessive price tag. The wine shows right from the pull of the cork — a transporting bottle where the nose alone is well worth the price of admission. But it is on the palate where this wine delivers most. There is smoothness and elegance that captivates the senses and gives way to nuances of dried red cherries and strawberries, blood orange, sweet tobacco, part of the spice rack, tar, cedar and saddle leather, but what amazes is the almost sweet, succulent red fruit that remains after two decades. This wine may not age as long as GAJA or Giacosa, but there is plenty of tannic grip on the finish and fruit to suggest further aging. But why wait — this is one of the great values in aged Barbaresco. If you want to begin to understand the tertiary magic of Nebbiolo – it begins here!”

2016 Cigliuti Barbaresco Vie Erte
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Here is one of those tiny, family run wineries in Barbaresco that someone remains under the radar, which if fine by us. While many enthusiasts and critics gravitate to the flagship Barbaresco Serraboella from older vines, IWM remains fixated on the more traditionally-spirited Barbaresco Vie Erte. The wine simply screams freshness and purity of fruit and is one of those wines that pulls you in by the nose hairs with the signature nuances of dried rose petals, mountain flowers, licorice, and red fruit. These flavors are joined on the palate with cherries, spice, cola, tar, herbs, and mineral. This Barbaresco is classically built and rustic, expect to find some tannic grips and punch on the finish. The wine needs a little time or demands some food. For those that like classic Nebbiolo deliver with exceptional value.”

94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous:
“Cigliuti's 2016 Barbaresco Vie Erte is absolutely gorgeous. In 2016, the Vie Erte stands out for its distinctive spiced profile and that extra kick of mid-palate richness the wine has acquired now that the vines are nearly twenty years old. Vibrant and energetic, the 2016 has enough pedigree to age well for a number of years, although, quite frankly, it is very delicious right now. The sweet floral, minty and spiced notes that are so typical of this site really come to life with a bit of time in the glass. Although it was only bottled recently, the 2016 is quite expressive. Naturally, it will be even more so in a few years' time.”

2016 Poderi Colla Barbaresco Roncaglie
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “Like the Cigliuti, this is a little and serious Barbaresco that would make Sergio proud. It is another one of those small family run wineries in Piemonte that somehow remains under the radar, despite being guided by one of the regions founding fathers - which is fine by us. The traditionally-spirited Poderi Colla Roncaglie is an expression that will outlive many Barolo from this historic vintage in the making for Piedmont. The wine simply screams freshness and purity of fruit and is one of those wines that pulls you in by the nose hairs with the signature nuances of dried rose petals, tar and red fruit. These flavors are joined on the palate with cherries, citrus, spice, cedar, herbs, and minerals. This Barbaresco is classically built and rustic, expect to find tannic grip that wraps the teeth and packs a punch on the finish. The wine needs a little time to reveal itself and demands some food. In fact, the best results for this wine came after being open for 24 hours. This is for those that like classic Nebbiolo delivered with exceptional value. Kudos to Tina and Beppe Colla for this gem.”

95 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: A stellar wine, the 2016 Barbaresco Roncaglie is pretty, delicate and understated to the core. Rose petal, sweet spice, tobacco, mint, anise and sweet red cherry all grace this translucent, super-expressive Barbaresco from Poderi Colla. A Barbaresco of understatement and class, the 2016 is light on its feet, persistent and finely sculpted. Time in the glass brings out the wine's inner sweetness and perfume, but the 2016 also needs time in bottle to be at its best. This is such a gorgeous wine.”

Should you have any questions on these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer while supplies last, we are asking that you email orders back to me at, connect with your personal portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders subject to confirmation and IWM is not responsible typographical errors on pricing.

All my best,