Wine notes

Thursday 11 November 2010


The commune of Barbaresco, which was the focus of day one and much of the morning of day two of the four-day Nebbiolo Prima tastings in Piemonte has traditionally been described as more feminine and lighter than its more famous neighbour, Barolo. This is reflected by its regulations, which are less restrictive than those for Barolo, demanding a lower alcoholic content of 12.5% compared with the minimum of 13% for Barolo and, tellingly, slightly less extract (22 g/l compared with 23 g/l). In reality, the wines are rarely under 13.5% and more often than not easily reach 14% without jeopardising the balance. But the most eye-catching difference between these two famous wines is in the age requirements: Barbaresco can be put onto the market in January of the third year after the vintage, with only one mandatory year in oak cask, whereas Barolo has to be kept for an additional year, with a minimum of two years in total spent in oak. All this seems to support the contention that Barbaresco needs lighter handling, but it seems more likely that this impression is the result of its history and the vinification techniques used rather than of Barbaresco's inherent qualities.

Barbaresco's name did not appear on labels until 1894 when Domizio Cavazza, at that time professor at the Oenological School of Alba, founded the Cantina Sociale di Barbaresco (now the much admired Cantina di Produttori di Barbaresco), and the same year in which the first Barbaresco wine appeared under its own name. Apparently, before this date the wines from the town of Barbaresco were often blended with Barolo, as the latter had previously refused to incorporate the vineyards of the town into the Barolo demarcation. Therefore, Barolo became, perhaps unwillingly, instrumental in the creation of Barbaresco.

As Barbaresco had become a designation its own right, Cavazza aimed at producing a style of wine that would set it stylistically somewhat apart from its direct neighbour. Allegedly, this idea lies at the root of the perception of Barbaresco being 'lighter'. Except for the fact that Barbaresco's history is much more recent than Barolo, the actual area of Barbaresco devoted to Nebbiolo is also much smaller than that in Barolo (684 ha compared with 1,826 ha, all data from Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato ed agricuoltura di Cuneo Albo Vigneti 2009). Land within Barbaresco also produces Barbera d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba and Asti respectively from its 364 ha of Barbera vines, 425 ha of Dolcetto and 556ha of Moscato. All this leads to the image of Barbaresco as 'Barolo's smaller neighbour'.

Although soil differences between Barolo and Barbaresco are regularly advanced as another major factor in the style difference, broadly speaking there are more similarities than differences. Barbaresco's soils consist of calcareous clay of the Tortonion epoch, a soil type also found in La Morra and Barolo, and considered to produce a softer, more fruit-driven style, whereas soils in Monforte d'Alba and Serralunga d'Alba (both within the Barolo zone) have a higher content of sandstone, yielding more tannic wines. And although these stylistic difference are real, and more or less a given, some communes in Barolo are considered to produce wines more akin to Barbaresco, and vice versa. Therefore vinification techniques can have enormous impact on the final wines, not least the length of time the wine remains on the skins. The longer this period is, the more tannins and polyphenols will be leached out, resulting in much more structured wines, wines that invariably need longer time in cask to soften.

Although the image of a lighter, faster-maturing wine style clings to Barbaresco to this day, it did not entirely reflect my impressions after I had tasted the 2007 straight Barbarescos and the 2005 Riservas. Or, rather, I got the impression that it was more owing to the character of the 2007 vintage that the wines seemed quite straightforward and sometimes even evolved and somewhat alcoholic on the finish. What was often in evidence was the dreaded dried fruit character which I associate with hot vintage conditions, in which part of the fruit gets sunburnt, or with an unbalanced vintage in which sugar levels soar while tannic ripeness lacks behind. In order to achieve softer, rounder tannins, the vintage is postponed to reach that all-important ripeness level, but on the way the freshness of the fruit can be sacrificed. The 2007 vintage, although not comparable with 2003, did not entirely escape irregular heat. If anything, the 2007s may prove to be a perfect introduction to Nebbiolo for novices.

Disliking dried fruit aromas in Nebbiolo wines may initially seem rather controversial, especially as they feature so frequently in tasting notes and descriptions of Barolo and Barbaresco, particularly after extended cellaring. A touch of dried-fruit character can add a layer of complexity, but if the nose is dominated by these aromas, it makes the wines look tired, while potentially impairing the wine's ageability. Although Nebbiolo's famous tannic structure and naturally high acidity seems to render the wines virtually indestructible, such aromas may not necessarily add to complexity during extended cellaring, especially if in relatively young samples one notices the telltale whiff of browning apple, the first signs of oxidation. That oxidative note, by the way, I often encounter in combination with generous oak treatment. Although it can make the wine look more open and charming, especially when young, it also makes them more one-dimensional.

Having said that, most Barbaresco producers are extremely talented in using oak in a fashion that becomes the wine, rather than smothering it. In cases where oak is used over-zealously, the wines invariably seem to be designed to appeal to the international palate, and are slightly formulaic. However, Nebbiolo is almost always is capable of adding freshness and tannic impact to a wine, preventing it from becoming too pastiche-like.

Vintage 2007
The 2007 vintage was determined by a very irregular weather pattern. After a very mild winter, flowering began more than 20 days earlier than in the previous year. A cool period during the growing cycle slowed things down. July was hot with several very hot spells, and virtually no rain, affecting some of the bunches with sunburn and partially arresting the ripening process in the berries. August proved more benign with cooler, below-average temperatures, but the growing cycle did not significantly slow down, although a hail storm in Barbaresco on 3 Aug reduced the crop by 10-20%. As temperatures stayed cool during the rest of the month, fungal disease pressure was very limited. The harvest started mid September under perfect conditions, with high sugar levels in the berries and less acidity than usual. Although the vintage is not comparable to 2003 since August was much cooler in 2007, the wines are expected to mature relatively early, and are considered to have only medium cellaring potential. I found many wines of which this was true but there were also some true gems which showed real ageing potential and great stature.

Vintage 2005
The samples shown of Barbaresco Riserva 2005 were much less numerous and so generalisations are more difficult. The season started regularly, but temperatures crept up fast in June, which was warmer than average. But the first half of July was much cooler, and only during the second half did it become intensely hot. In August things literally cooled off. September was relatively even, although night time temperatures did not fall sufficiently to give usefully cool mornings. Grape skins were thinner than average, with less concentration of polyphenols. Harvest started at the end of September.


Orlando Abrigo, Montersino 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Treiso. Youthful crimson. Baking spice and peppery dark fruit. Juicy palate but tannins take over. May be for the long haul. Touch bitter too. Food! (WS)

Orlando Abrigo, Vigna Rongalio Meruzzano 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2010-2017
Treiso. Deep, almost crimson-like ruby. Garden herbs and candied peel, almost meaty. Powerful but compact palate with lovely acidity. Closed and youthful, this deserves time. Touch of vanilla on the finish? (WS)

Marco e Vittorio Adriano 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2013
Alba. Pale but youthful rim. Bread-dough-like nose. Inexpressive on the palate. No real excitement, and astringent. (WS)

Marco e Vittorio Adriano, Basarin 2007 Barbaresco 14 Drink 2010-2013
Neive. Paleish, deep ruby. Vegetal, sweet-sour nose. Brett? Very sweet but sharp palate and strange creamy malolactic finish. (WS)

Albino Rocca 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2011-2017
Alba. Pale, mature ruby. Brooding and quite backward on the palate. Shows great balance and very fine, ongoing waves of tannin. Will need at least some years to open up. (WS)

Albino Rocca, Vigneto Brich Ronchi 2007 Barbaresco 17.5 Drink 2012-2020
Barbaresco. Pale, youthful ruby. Backward, but with focused red fruit and ripeness. Has lots of class, despite the slightly astringent tannins and will need much more time. (WS)

Antichi Poderi dei Gallina, L Ciaciaret 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Neive. Medium ruby with broad rim. Very sweet with expensive oaky edge. Some oxidative notes as well. Dumb on the palate, but concentration is there. (WS)

Barale, Serraboella 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2013
Neive. Paleish youthful ruby. Slightly reductive sweet fruit-cake nose. Very sweet, dried-fruit palate. Drying finish. Seems unbalanced. (WS)

Cantina Sociale dei Produttori del Barbaresco 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2013
Barbaresco. Pale but youthful-looking ruby. Liquorice fruit. Rustic, perhaps even coarse, on the finish. (WS)

Battaglio 2007 Barbaresco 15? Drink 2012-2016
Neive. Medium-concentrated ruby, with deeper centre. Upfront, sweet fruit nose with a faint hint of horse saddle? Stubborn palate, determined at this stage by stalky tannins. Asleep? (WS)

Bel Colle, Roncaglie 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2018
Barbaresco. Medium-deep ruby with broad rim. Elegant if somewhat closed, it pulls you into the glass. Palate has the same kind of restrained appeal. Balance, and freshness. Not ostentatious. Quite tannic, looks old school, but lots of potential here. (WS)

Bricco Grilli, Serragrilli 2007 Barbaresco 14 Drink 2010-2013
Neive. Mature-looking concentrated ruby. Browning-apple nose and Christmas pudding. Very sweet, very confected. (WS)

Ca` del Baio, Valgrande 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Treiso. Concentrated ruby with orange tinge on a broad rim. The nose opens up slowly, but the palate seems not to offer anything more in complexity. (WS)

Ca` del Baio, Assili 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2011-2017
Barbaresco. Pale, youthful-looking ruby. Reluctant, backward nose. And very closed on the palate, very compact, but with very good balance, with fine-grained but persistent tannins. Some oak impact on the finish, but well made. (WS)

Ca` du Rabajà, Rabajà 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Barbaresco. Medium-concentrated ruby with broad rim showing orange tinge. Savoury dried fruit opening up. Lots of concentration on the palate and lots of tannins too, but fruit stands up effortlessly. Perhaps ever so slightly jammy on the finish, but very long. (WS)

Ca` du Rabajà 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Neive-Barbaresco. Mature-looking medium concentrated ruby. Quite oaky, vanilla nose with lots of dried fruit and aniseed notes. Fruit doesn’t really make a big impression on the palate either. (WS)

La Ca` Nova, Montestefano 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Barbaresco. Brilliant, palish ruby with broad rim. Quite big nose, developed too, with caramel and tar notes. Same developed fruit on the palate with what looks like the impact of oak. Modernist but lacks depth, perhaps? (WS)

Ca` Rome`, Sori Rio Sordo 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2013
Barbaresco. Medium-deep ruby with orange reflexes. At first dried-fruit impressions, but with air becomes more complex. Perhaps ever so slightly oxidative, which is confirmed on the palate. (WS)

Castello di Neive, Santo Stefano 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2016
Neive. Paleish ruby. Open knit and ever so slightly stewed. Sweet, jammy fruit attack. Very popular. Crunchy tannins add much-needed bite. (WS)

Castello di Neive 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2016
Neive. Paleish ruby, more concentrated in the centre. Well-developed nose of dried fruit and baking spice and hints of vanilla. Sweet fruit attack, with good persistence and aromatics. Uncomplicated. (WS)

Castello di Verduno 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Barbaresco. Pale ruby starting to open up. Very slow to show rich cherry fruit. Very concentrated and sweet attack, and same richness on the palate. Genuinely fruit driven with gripping tannin, but elegant finish. (WS)

Michele Chiarlo, Asili 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Barbaresco. Deep concentrated ruby. Cherry and herb liqueur and hints of browning apple. Second sample is identical. Makes the fruit look ever so slightly stale. (WS)

Cigliuti, Vigne Erte 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Neive. Very dark and deep ruby. Raisiny and hints of cut apple. Tired? (WS)

Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy 2007 Barbaresco 17.5 Drink 2010-2018
Barbaresco. Very pale orange ruby. Seems already quite developed, but hugely seductive nose. Palate much less evolved but finish is aromatic and comes in waves. (WS)

Colla, Roncaglie 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Barbaresco. Concentrated ruby only just starting to open up on the rim. Vanilla pod and sweet sour cherry. Sweet oak and cherry fruit palate. Modern school but shows freshness too. On the finish the oak impact restraints the fruit, though. (WS)

Giuseppe Cortese, Rabajà 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2012-2018
Barbaresco. Very pale ruby. Herbal, perhaps a touch of farmyard and hints of strawberry jam. Very closed palate, with compact cherry and strawberry fruit. Shows great promise. Grainy and slightly restless tannin at the moment. (WS)

Elia, Serracapelli 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Very dark and purplish ruby. Very flirty, very international and even jammy. International palate, but will be hard to sell as such as tannins kick in. Vanilla finish. (WS)

Feyles 2007 Barbaresco 13 Drink up
Neive. Concentrated ruby with orange beginnings. Very heavily browning apple. Second sample is not much better. Also some VA? Tired palate robbed of fruit. (WS)

Elio Filippino, San Cristoforo 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2018
Neive. Deep almost dark ruby. Posh dark fruit and oak nose. Enticing and quite international in a way. Fruit has depth and even complexity but struggles with the drying tannins at this stage. Should have a good future. (WS)

Fontanabianca, Sori Burdin 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2012-2018
Neive. Developed ruby with orange tinge. Leathery oak nose. Round fruit impression, but closes up quickly. Elegant finish with lots of grainy tannins. Will need more time. (WS)

Francone, I Patriarchi 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Paleish orange ruby. Earth and ever so slightly raisiny, but not unappealing. Astringent and slightly bitter. Not very complex, and crying out for food. Alcoholic too. (WS)

La Ganghija 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Treiso. Medium deep, youthful ruby. Intense dried fruit and incense, also resonating on the palate. Good balance, slightly rustic tannins. (WS)

Carlo Giacosa, Montefico 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2013-2018
Barbaresco. Quite youthful, medium-deep ruby. Oatmeal and faintly cherry like. Very youthful and compact on the palate. Will need quite a lot of time to develop but balance is there and length, as well as focused cherry fruit. Very backward. (WS)

Fratelli Giacosa, Basarin 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010
Neive. Paleish ruby with broad rim. Subdued, dusty nose. Fruit tries hard to absorb the oak. Sweet finish, with good length, but no great finesse. Appealing in an idiosyncratic way. (WS)

Fratelli Giacosa, Basarin Vigna Gianmate 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Pale ruby. Lashes of sweet oak. Sweet oak has smothered the fruit too. Candy finish. (WS)

Fratelli Grasso, Vallegrande 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2010-2017
Treiso. Medium-concentrated ruby. Intoxicating, opulent cherry and herbs, but at the same time not without elegance. Concentration on the palate too and very good balance. Ends quite sweet and closes up quickly. (WS)

Ugo Lequio, Gallina 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2011-2017
Neive. Medium-concentrated ruby. Perfumed and sweet and already quite accessible judging from the nose, but certainly not on the palate. Very nice acidic structure and fierce tannin hiding the fruit. Fragrant finish indicates there is more to come. (WS)

Eredi Lodali, Lorens 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2010-2017
Treiso. Deep ruby. Pretty, if popular, peppery new-oak nose. Very tight and young, but good freshness and length. A baby, really. (WS)

Luisin, Sori Paolin 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010-2017
Neive. Very deep, dark ruby. Mature, full on, with tobacco-leaf notes – quick development? Dried-fruit palate and slightly astringent, but with length. Warm finish. (WS)

Luisin, Rabajà 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2012-2018
Barbaresco. Savoury with marmite notes, and very ripe fruit, tea leaves, and some browning apple. Very compact and taut on the palate, and at the same time slightly oxidative. Old school, it seems, but not without merit and very good length. (WS)

Marchesi di Barolo, Serragrilli 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2011-2018
Neive. Very deep, youthful-looking ruby. Classic, austere nose of tea leaves, candied peel. Touch alcoholic too. Very closed and tight on the palate, with sweet oak edge, but genuine fruit too. Well made. (WS)

Massimo Penna, Sori Sartu 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Alba. Pale developed ruby with broad rim. Minty cherry and mincemeat nose. Very sweet, very developed palate. Accessible, but it seems without great potential. Drink earlier rather than later. (WS)

Moccagatta, Bric Balin 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Barbaresco. Mature medium ruby. Savoury, meaty and candy-like nose. Similar palate without great tension or depth, but with length. Perhaps a touch too stewed for my liking though, and oak impact makes it look commercial. (WS)

Moccagatta, Basarin 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Deep concentrated ruby with orange tinge. Slightly forced, with sweet fruit and vanilla, developed too. Sweet and popular, ends sweet. Designed for the international market? (WS)

Molino, Teorema 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2015
Alba. Medium deep, youthful ruby. Meaty, almost savoury nose. Very reluctant, shy to open up. Palate somewhat defined by creamy malolactic impression. Sweet but closed finish. Tad bitter too. (WS)

Molino, Ausario 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2010-2017
Treiso. Youthful ruby. Although firmly in the dried-fruit spectrum, this is quite complex. Very closed palate though. Spicy oak somewhat takes the upper hand on the drying finish, but fruit has the last word. (WS)

Montaribaldi, Soeri Montaribaldi 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Barbaresco. Concentrated ruby with some sign of age. Slightly tired-looking nose with tarry, savoury notes. Seems not entirely ripe. Palate much more lively, if tannic. (WS)

Montaribaldi, Palazzina 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2012-2017
Neive. Very deep concentrated ruby, with narrow orange rim. Oak driven, oatmeal. Palate shows very compact and tight fruit with orange peel. Drying oak tannins at this stage, but concentration is there. (WS)

Morassino 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Barbaresco. Pale ruby. Herb garden, strawberry jam, and ever so slightly metallic? Tea leaves and sweet fruit on the palate. Quite attractive if a tad simple, but there is length. (WS)

Morassino, Ovello 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2011-2015
Barbaresco. Medium-concentrated ruby with orange-tinged rim. Herbal at first. Liqueur-like nose. Ever so slightly rough tannins, but fruit holds up. Not the most refined, and certainly wants food, but length is impressive. (WS)

Cantina del Nebbiolo 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2014
Neive-Treiso. Medium-deep ruby and rim just starting to show. Earthy, sweet and with sweet-sour fruit notes. Unsettled sweet-sour fruit, with bitter tannin. (WS)

Giuseppe Negro, Pian Cavallo 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Neive. Medium-concentrated ruby. Complex and sweet, firmly pushing the dried-fruit button. Sweet fruit palate, appealing but not very complex. A tad astringent. (WS)

Angelo Negro e Figli, Cascinotta 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2019
Neive. Medium-deep glowing ruby, with orange tinge. Immediate Moroccan-leather nose. Very good mouthfeel, but very closed. Stalky, grainy tannin. Seems to have all the stuffing, now it needs age. (WS)

Pelissero, Nubiola 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Treiso. Medium-concentrated crimson. Flirtatious nose with lots of cherry liqueur but there is a herbal note underneath it all. Same accessible fruit on the palate, but tannins kick in making it less generous. Fragrant finish, though. (WS)

Pelissero, Bricco San Giuliano 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2013
Neive. Pale ruby with orange glow. Pâtisserie, and lots of it, followed by dried fruit. Will dry out pretty soon? (WS)

Pertinace, Vigneto Nervo 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2012
Treiso. Concentrated ruby with first signs of development on the rim. Somewhat monotonous with dried fruit and horse-saddle hints. Palate seems dominated by malolactic creaminess. Ends bitter. (WS)

Pertinace, Marcarini 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010-2015
Treiso. Pale ruby with broad orange-tinged rim. Lots of sweet fruit here and hints of oak treatment. Definitely modern. Tries to be generous on the palate too, but lacks depth to really pull it off. Crowd pleaser, nonetheless. (WS)

Armando Piazzo, Fratin 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2016
Alba. Light orange ruby. Subdued, but with lurking cherry and a touch of raisins. Lifted acidity, but without the fruit concentration to hit a balance. But good fragrant length. (WS)

Cantina del Pino 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Neive-Barbaresco. Very pale ruby with very broad rim. Elegant, sweet soft spice nose. More fruit impressions on the palate. Caramel finish making it look rather commercial, and somewhat lacking in personality. (WS)

Prunotto 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Neive-Treiso-Barbaresco. Very pale, orange tinged. Vegetal sweet nose, horse saddle as well. Herbal fruit palate. Doubtful this will develop from the ugly-duckling stage it is in. (WS)

Punset, Basarin 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2016
Neive. Medium-deep ruby, developing, with broad orange-tinged rim. Perfumed and brooding. Sweet fruit palate. No great complexity here, with rough-edged tannins. Slightly alcoholic too, but fruit sweetness on the finish proves very seductive. (WS)

Punset, Camp Quadro 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010-2016
Neive. Dark, developing ruby. Complex, with oak component. The first signs of tobacco and tar might indicate quick development. Very accessible palate with juicy fruit impressions. Oxidative winemaking rendering it more open? (WS)

Rattalino, Quarantadue 42 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2015
Barbaresco. Pale but youthful-looking ruby. Slow to open up, and somewhat alcoholic on the nose too. Very slow to open up on the palate. Lacks fruit concentration to match the tannic structure. (WS)

Ressia, Canova 2007 Barbaresco 15.5? Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Dark, medium-concentrated ruby with narrow orange rim. Sweet, balsamic, fruitcake nose. Dried-fruit palate but with quite attractive tannins. Oxidative style on purpose? (WS)

Pietro Rinaldi, San Cristoforo 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2015
Neive. Dark ruby with lighter broader rim. Soft sweet pâtisserie nose. Somewhat linear sweet, fruit cake and pâtisserie palate. What the Italians call truccato – with make up on. But crunchy tannic structure saving the day. (WS)

Rivetti Massimo, Froi 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2018
Neive. Light ruby, with broad orange rim. Peppery but multilayered with perfumed dried cherry and a touch of leather. Very young and tight, but it’s got the stuffing, and the length. Stormy tannin, but good structure and potential. Quite dry finish. (WS)

Rizzi, Pajore 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2016
Treiso. Very pale ruby. Quite powerful cherry fruit nose. Not shy on the palate either. Great fruit length with grainy tannins adding a pleasant bitterness to the finish. Very good. (WS)

Rizzi, Nervo Fondetta 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010-2015
Treiso. Very pale orange ruby. Fragrant sweet perfumed cherry nose. Talcum powder and liquorice notes too. Tight and compact, and with soft strawberry notes. Bitter but ripe tannins. (WS)

Bruno Rocca, Rabaja 2007 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2012-2017
Barbaresco. Medium deep ruby with brick tinges. Meaty, savoury, with lots of sweet, almost jammy, fruit on the palate. Very modern, crowd-pleasing, sweet and with some oak impact on the finish but tannins prevent it from going over the top. (WS)

Bruno Rocca 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2014
Barbaresco. Pale orange ruby. Savoury and somewhat tired on the nose. Astringent tannins. (WS)

Cascina della Rose, Rio Sordo 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2013
Barbaresco. Very pale orange. Looks tired and alcoholic. Fading fruit on the palate seems to struggle with the structure and high acidity. (WS)

Cascina della Rose, Tre Stelle 2007 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2013
Barbaresco. Very mature-looking pale orange ruby. Leathery stewed-fruit nose. Somewhat tired on the palate too, with acidity shooting through the light fruit. (WS)

Cascina Saria 2007 Barbaresco 13 Drink 2010-2013
Neive. Shiny, medium-concentrated ruby with broader rim, orange tinges. Browning-apple nose. Oxidation has stripped the fruit from this wine. (WS)

Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa, Tettineive 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2018
Neive. Pale ruby with broad orange-tinged rim. Classic, fragrant and taut at the same time. Initially sweet, with thunderous tannin. Closes up, but concentration is there. Just reluctant at this stage. (WS)

Sottimano, Cotta 2007 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2018
Neive. Deep ruby. Sexy sweet dried-fruit nose, but more complex than it sounds. Full, sweet fruit attack. Lots of extract and length. Very tannic but integrates on the finish. (WS)

Sottimano, Pajore 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2014
Treiso. Medium-deep ruby, with lighter rim. Very sweet, open-knit nose, peppery. Much the same on the palate. Pleasant but not very complex. Tannins somewhat rough and astringent. (WS)

La Spinona di Berutti Pietro, Bricco Faset 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2012
Barbaresco. Medium-concentrated ruby with the first beginning of orange on the rim. Vegetal, Brett? Looks like that is also the reason why there is not a lot of fruit. (WS)

Michele Taliano, Ad Altiora 2007 Barbaresco 15.5 Drink 2010-2016
Alba. Very deep, concentrated youthful ruby. Big if vegetal nose of fruit cake and baking spice. Sweet, but slightly nondescript palate. Seems to open up more on the finish. Rustic tannin. (WS)

Terre da Vino, La Casa in Collina 2007 Barbaresco 16 Drink 2010-2015
Treiso. Light ruby with broad orange-tinged rim. Firmly closed on the nose, only a hint of spice. Very backward on the palate too. Slow to open up, but ongoing aromatic echoes. Should develop well. (WS)

Vigin, Noemy 2007 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2014
Treiso. Very pale ruby. Nose is dominated by caramel and mocha notes. Popular style on the palate too. (WS)


Marco e Vittorio Adriano, Basarin Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2011-2015
Neive. Deep ruby with narrow orange-tinged rim. Nose slow to open up. Peppery, reductive. Lots of drying tannins, and very little coming from the fruit at this stage. (WS)

Cantina Sociale dei Produttori del Barbaresco, Rio Sordo Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 17.5 Drink 2010-2018
Barbaresco. Medium concentration and developing ruby. Very subdued, sweet and lurking. Lots of development on the palate with succulence and gripping tannins. Perhaps a tad drying, but bags of concentration and finesse in the fruit. (WS)

Cantina Sociale dei Produttori del Barbaresco, Pora Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 17 Drink 2012-2018
Barbaresco. Medium-deep ruby with rim just starting to show some orange. Sweet fruit and sweet pastry. Very backward palate, very slow to open up. Astringent tannin, but fruit concentration matches this. (WS)

Casetta, Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 16.5? Drink 2012-2019
Treiso. Concentrated, deep ruby, with narrow, orange-tinged rim. Impressive nose, which unfortunately is plagued by a touch of earthiness (old wood?). Very backward, but with long-lasting flavours and intense but fine tannic impression. (WS)

Giuseppe Nada, Casot Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2014
Treiso. Pale, orange-tinged ruby. Farmyardy opening almost completely covering up the nose. The same is happing on the palate, suppressing fruit character. (WS)

Armando Piazzo, Nervi Vigna Giaia Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 16.5 Drink 2010-2017
Treiso. Mature orange ruby. Mature sweet fruitcake nose, appealing but not overtly complex. Not overtly complex on the palate either, but long lasting and with some very good cherry fruit coming to the fore. (WS)

Dante Rivetti, Bricco Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 15 Drink 2010-2017
Neive. Paleish and developed ruby. Sweet, dried fruit and vanilla-cream hints. Somewhat formulaic on the palate too. Low pitched, trying to be a softy, until drying tannins kick in. (WS)

Rivetti Massimo, Serraboella Riserva 2005 Barbaresco 14.5 Drink 2010-2014
Neive. Concentrated ruby with broad orange rim. Very sweet, with lots of vanilla. Tries hard to please. Overoaked? (WS)