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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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Ca' dei Mandorli Verdecielo Gavi 2017 750ml
Ca' dei Mandorli Verdecielo Gavi 2017 750ml
Price: $17.99

Exotic citrus fruits, buttered toast, crushed white wildflowers, and kisses of spice and minerals dance in this fresh, elegant ’17 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. more info
Hilberg Pasquero '29.5 Per Alessandra' Barbera d'Alba 2016 750ml
Hilberg Pasquero '29.5 Per Alessandra' Barbera d'Alba 2016 750ml
Price: $19.99

Named for the length of the lunar cycle, this ’16 Barbera d’Alba is delicious, layering its crisp red and brambly blue fruits with warm tobacco, new leather, violet petals, warm loam, licorice and spices. There’s plenty of Barbera’s trademark acidity, but it’s complemented by lush dry extract, a sweet inner perfume, and a complex, persistent finish--this wine is terrific! Grapes derive from the estate’s southwestern-facing sandy, clayey Barbera vineyard; after fermenting for five days in temperature-controlled stainless steel with natural yeasts, the wine ages for a year in stainless and two months in bottle prior to release. more info
Cieck Canavese Rosso 2016 750ml
Cieck Canavese Rosso 2016 750ml
Price: $24.99

One of the original five producers in Piemonte’s San Giorgio Canavese sub-region, Cieck crafts traditional, artisanal, delicious wines, and the estate’s Canavese Rosso is a contemporary spin on an old regional favorite. A blend of Barbera, Neretto di Canavese, and Freisa, this ’16 Rosso wafts with scents of plums, raspberries, and cherries that are underlain by tarry earth, rose petals, licorice, and peppery spices. Grapes ferment together, and the wine ages for a year in oak barrels before resting for about six months in bottle prior to release. more info
Hilberg Pasquero Vareij 2016 750ml
Hilberg Pasquero Vareij 2016 750ml
Price: $25.99

A rare blend of Brachetto and Barbera, Vareij marries floral aromatics with bracing acidity and elegant structure. Fistfuls of rose and violet petals frame the succulent red and blue fruits of the extremely pretty ’16 Vareij; baking spices, newly turned earth, savory minerals and wild herbs provide a compelling backdrop. This wine glides across the palate, gathering a sneaky power as it builds to a balanced, elegant and sustained finish--it’s a sheer delight! Mostly Brachetto with about 40% Barbera, the biodynamically tended grapes ferment for seven to fifteen days in open-top stainless steel, and the wine ages for about a year in stainless steel to preserve the fruit and the terroir. more info
San Giuliano Fiore di Marcorino Barbera d'Alba 2016 750ml
San Giuliano Fiore di Marcorino Barbera d'Alba 2016 750ml
Price: $26.99

The ’16 Fiore di Marcorino Barbera d'Alba wraps its succulent cherries and berries around a core of savory earth, saline minerals, and balsamic herbs; peppery spices and subtle wildflower petals round out the entrancing nose. Medium-bodied and brightly acidic, this Barbera glides with a silky feel into its lingering, chocolatey, mineral-laden finish. San Giuliano, run by Giulio Pastura and wife Mariella, is a collection of vineyards ranging across about seventeen acres in the 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 for 7 to 10 days in stainless steel and ages in barrels for ten to twelve months before bottling. more info
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2016 750ml
Poderi Aldo Conterno Langhe Rosso 2016 750ml
Price: $29.99

Juicy cherries and brooding berries cavort with peppery spices, crushed wild herbs, warm earth, wildflowers and tobacco in the muscular, rich ’16 Langhe Rosso. Chewy tannins meet electric acidity, while savory underpinnings complement the silky wine’s copious fruit. This is a food-friendly, highly pleasurable wine that drinks immediately yet has the structure to age for a few years. 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; this wine ages first in steel and finishes for a few months in barriques before bottling. more info
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2017 750ml
Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba 2017 750ml
Price: $29.99

A ripe growing year that ended in a crisp harvest, 2017 ended beautifully for Antinori’s team at the Prunotto estate, and the ’17 Pian Romualdo Barbera d'Alba reflects its high quality, low yield vintage in its intense, genial profile and silky texture. Sun-drenched red and black fruits mingle with smoky minerals, violet petals, baking spices, warm earth and melted chocolate in this lip-smacking delicious Barbera. Full-bodied yet balanced, this wine wraps its brambly fruits around a core of minerals and loads its energetic finish with lots of chewy tannins--it’s delicious! Deriving from Barbera vines grown in the estate’s calcium-rich 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. more info
Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Camilla 2015 750ml
Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Camilla 2015 750ml
Price: $44.99

A very affordable, highly approachable, and extremely delicious evocation of its banner vintage, the ’15 Barolo Camilla bursts from the glass with a profusion of succulent red and blue fruits, peppery spices, rose petals, tarry earth, and touches of blood orange zest, espresso and licorice. For all this aromatic wine’s seductive fleshiness, it retains energy and focus, gliding across the palate with a silky, electric feel. Fine-grained, polished tannins, kinetic acidity, sweet fruits, and savory, earthy elements meld seamlessly in the profile of this balanced Barolo. Enjoyable now with decanting, this wine will start to hit its stride in a couple of years. A traditional cuvée bottling, the Nebbiolo grapes for the Barolo Camilla come from three sandy, limestone-rich vineyards in Grinzane Cavour and La Morra. Grapes ferment on the skins for 20 to 30 days in temperature-controlled tanks, with malolactic fermentation taking place in either steel or concrete; the wine ages for 24 to 30 months in a combination of botti and tonneaux before resting bottle for six to eight months before release. more info
Hilberg Pasquero Nebbiolo D'Alba 2013 750ml
Hilberg-Pasquero Nebbiolo D'Alba 2013 750ml
Price: $49.99

Coming from biodynamic boutique producer Hilberg-Pasquero, this complex ’13 Nebbiolo leaps from the glass in a shower of juicy red fruits, truffles, baking spices, rose petals, warm earth, and espresso. Elegant and rustic, this juicy wine slinks across the palate with silky tannins, vivid electricity, and a shade of Barolo’s trademark ethereality--the 2013 is a terrific embodiment of its benchmark year! Deriving from vines aged 40 to 45 years old that are organically grown in limestone-rich, marble soils, grapes ferment for 25 days, and the wine ages for 22 months in barrique, followed by 22 months in bottle prior to release. more info
Paolo Scavino Barolo 2016 750ml
Paolo Scavino Barolo 2016 750ml
Price: $49.99

The product of a balanced, ripe growing year that culminated in the second banner Barolo vintage in a row, this ’16 Barolo Cannubi matches is succulent, dense Nebbiolo fruit with elegant tannins, vibrant acidity, and savory notes like leather, spice cake, and menthol. This Barolo marries precision with seductive floral aromatics in a wine that is pure class, and enjoyable as it is upon release (with aeration), it’ll be even better decades down the road. Arguably the most historic of all of Barolo’s vineyards, Cannubi is the second cru bottled by Scavino. Planted in 1946, the Cannubi vineyard benefits from its southern exposure, gray silt-sand and marl soils and an altitude of 290 meters above sea level. Fermentation takes place in steel rotary vats with aging in barrique for ten months and an additional fourteen months in French casks and ten more months in bottle. more info