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Rare Value: 20 Years of Age from One of Piedmont's Under-the-Radar Estates
May 28, 2020



New Arrivals: Twenty-One Years of Age in the Under-the-Radar Riserva Find of the Queen of Wines! Rare Value from a Celebrated Barbaresco Vineyard with Perfect Provenance.

“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

Want to fall back in love with Barbaresco again? Here is one way to do it without the wait. The eyes of Nebbiolo enthusiasts and collectors are justifiably on the highly anticipated release of the 2016 vintage, but Italian Wine Merchants has taken a step back — 21 years back, that is! In fact, the wines that captivated 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 overdelivered!

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.

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 and 1990 Barbaresco Riserva Bricco di Neive in pristine condition. This is a tremendous opportunity to experience the evolution spectrum at $89.99, 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 (Click to Order)



The Rivetti family have been farming in Nieve, 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 Nieve. A prime high altitude vineyard site, “Bricco di Nieve" 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 Nieve 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.

Additional Notes and Reviews:



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!”

This is an email ONLY offer. 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 chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, 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,
Chris