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Barbaresco Wines

Barbaresco Wines

Barbaresco Wines

Barbaresco Red Wines

For a long time, people looked past Barbaresco in their wine adventures in favor of its more popular brother, Barolo. In some ways, it was seen as a second-class wine, not worthy of the praise Barolo producers were basking in. Today, however, things are different, thanks in no small part to the hard work and passion of a new generation of winemakers. With improved agricultural methods, these visionaries have lit the torch and placed Barbaresco as a worthy counterpart and rival to the famed Barolo.

Let the fine, seductive scents of red berries, leather and violet carry you away as the wine gently unfolds in the glass. Where Barolo relies on power and immense aging potential, Barbaresco wines are more approachable, with a playful, lively energy to them. Less force, more finesse, a scalpel instead of a hammer. The full potential of Nebbiolo as a varietal is seen in the subtleties of a fine Barbaresco. Each sampling is like a conversation with a very knowledgeable and charismatic partner, thanks to the clarity with which the wine expresses its home terroir.

Picture a large family gathering, with hearty, lovingly prepared food and many generations of cousins and siblings. The kids are being loud as usual, and after a couple of glasses, the adults are no different, laughing and having a wonderful time. Enjoy a fun, exciting meal with your loved ones, or impress a table full of well-educated wine lovers with a touch of Italian finesse, perhaps paired with some tasteful cheese or roast beef.

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1986 gaja barbaresco Barbaresco

Complex and aromatic, with spice, anise and toast aromas mingling with generous Nebbiolo flavor. Plenty of tannin, too; the sort that clamps down after two or three seconds on the palate and doesn't let go. Cellaring until 1995 should bring it into balance. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

92
WS
As low as $370.00
1987 produttori del barbaresco barbaresco Italy Red
As low as $115.00
1990 gaja barbaresco Italy Red

Gaja’s 1990 Barbaresco shows an unbelievable level of youthfulness that absolutely defies the effects of time. Blackberry, cherry and plum are miraculously intact and immaculately preserved. This Barbaresco offers much more than a solid base of fruit to keep it relevant. The bouquet is beautifully expressive with etched mineral tones of chalk and brimstone as well as elegantly ethereal layers of balsam herb, rosemary, cola and Asian spice. The wine is drinking superbly at the moment and there’s an exciting level of tension and energy that sets it apart from the rest. The 1990 vintage was released as Angelo Gaja was enjoying one of his many career highpoints. In 1988, he purchased vineyards in the Barolo appellation (previously he purchased fruit) and his landmark Barolo Sperss was released in 1992. In the 1990s, he would expand his winemaking reach to Montalcino and Bolgheri (both in Tuscany) with additional acquisitions in those areas. The success of the 1990 vintage was a huge part of this magical moment on the Gaja timeline. With good potential for further aging, this bottle can be opened now or stored in the cellar for another decade or more. Drink: 2014-2028.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 1990 Barbaresco emerges from the glass with an exotic array of tar, smoke, licorice and grilled herbs. There is wonderful intensity to the fruit and plenty of structure. The tannins are still a bit young and the wine is only now beginning to enter the early part of what looks to be a long drinking window! The 1990 Barbaresco is a touch rounder and softer than the 1989, with perhaps just a little less aromatic complexity and inner perfume, although that is splitting hairs at this level. The finish is long, intense and deeply satisfying. This is a marvelous bottle of Barbaresco.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGA stunning wine, rich, ripe and supple, balanced with beautifully realized berry, red plum, vanilla and exotic spices, smoothly playing the fruit and toasty oak character off each other. A many layered wine that is approaching drinkability. 7,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

93
RP
As low as $460.00
2001 bruno giacosa barbaresco santo stefano Barbaresco

I had not crossed paths with a bottle of 2001 Santo Stefano from Bruno Giacosa in at least five years, but, I was not surprised to see that this superb wine is still a solid decade away from blossoming. The still tight and promising nose offers up a complex blend of red and black cherries, road tar, gamebirds, woodsmoke, a great base of soil and a bit of new leather in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bdoied and very pure, with impressive, nascent complexity, a rock solid core, firm, well-integrated tannins and stunning length and grip on the seamless and very youthful finish. This will be a brilliant wine in the fullness of time, but at least a solid decade’s worth of patience is really required before this wine starts to hit on all cylinders. (Drink between 2022-2065)John Gilman | 94+ JGThe 2001 Barbaresco Santo Stefano wafts on the palate with Christmas cake, plums, spices, menthol and licorice. It shows lovely class and an understated personality that is highly appealing. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPI am shocked (pleasantly, I must say), by how closed the 2001 Barbaresco Santo Stefano is. Powerful, tightly wound and totally closed down, the 2001 exudes class. Orange rind, tobacco and smoke add striking aromatic complexity to the intense dark fruit. Today, the tannins are surprisingly intense and raw, so readers will have to be patient. The 2001 is superb, but the wine’s full personality will not be on display for at least another few years. There is a good bit of upside here.Antonio Galloni | 94+ AGSubtle aromas of freshly sliced plums, blackberries and peaches. Full-bodied, with lots of fruit and a backbone of firm tannins. Toasted oak on the midpalate. This is a bold, structured red that needs time. I like this better than the 2000. Best after 2008. 1,200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

94
RP
As low as $370.00
2006 la spinetta barbaresco valeirano Italy Red

The 2006 Barbaresco Vigneto Valeirano is another exuberant wine. Here, too, the aromatics literally jump out of the glass, as layers of perfumed super-ripe fruit are intermingled with a persistent vein of minerality. The powerful, focused Valeirano offers outstanding balance, but needs a few years in bottle for the tannins to melt away. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPGood medium red. Wild aromas of truffle, smoke, underbrush, spices and cigar box. Then fat and lush in the mouth, showing the exotic side of the vintage. This silky Barbaresco has the sex appeal to be enjoyed early. Finishes with ripe, building tannins. Conveys a rather high-pH feel, and indeed Rivetti notes that pHs are generally higher in his 2006 Barbarescos than in the 2007s.Vinous Media | 91 VM

91
VM
As low as $199.00
2007 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin

This is an elegant Nebbiolo-based wine and arguably the most feminine of Gaja's newest releases. There's extreme balance and sophistication evident in the focused aromas of wild berry, white licorice, pressed violets and polished stone. The mouthfeel is tight, firm and those tannins need at least 10 more years to soften in your cellar. Beautiful.Wine Enthusiast | 99 WEThe 2007 Langhe Sorì Tildìn opens with a huge, kaleidoscopic bouquet that immediately draws me in. A remarkably vivid wine, the sensual Sorì Tildìn caresses the palate with silky, textured fruit, showing incredible power, length and class. There is a transparency to the wine that is beguiling. Once again, the finish is eternal. Sorì Tildìn is one of Gaja's more nuanced wines, and in 2007 it is breathtakingly beautiful.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGVery, very fresh and floral with peaches, ripe strawberries and plums. So aromatic and clear. Full-bodied, with powerful tannins and a cocoa, chocolate aftertaste. Gorgeous and sturdy. Needs time. Better after 2016.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2007 Langhe Sori Tildin opens with a huge, kaleidoscopic bouquet that immediately draws me in. A remarkably vivid wine, the sensual Sori Tildin caresses the palate with silky, textured fruit, showing incredible power, length and class. There is a transparency to the wine that is beguiling. Once again, the finish is eternal. Sori Tildin is one of Gaja’s more nuanced wines, and in 2007 it is breathtakingly beautiful. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2037My most recent visit to Gaja was quite an experience, as I tasted all of the estate’s 1989s, 1990s and 2007s. The 1989s and 1990s are reviewed in this issue’s What About Now feature. Angelo Gaja, always loquacious on a wide range of subjects, says virtually nothing about his wines, an approach I have increasingly come to appreciate in an era where so many producers are constantly in pitch mode. Then again, Gaja doesn’t really need to say anything, the wines speak for themselves. I tasted the 2007s at the winery in November 2009 and then again in New York in January 2010. Both times they were spectacular. Stylistically the 2007s remind me of the 1997s in terms of their opulence. Gaja’s wines are often immensely appealing when young – which is certainly the case with the 2007s – but then close down in bottle for a number of years, sometimes many years. My impression is that the Costa Russi and Conteisa are the most likely of these 2007s to offer the widest drinking windows throughout their lives with a minimum of cellaring. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place in steel. The wines then spend approximately one year in French oak and a second year in cask prior to being bottled. As has been the case for a number of years now, Gaja’s Langhe wines incorporate a small percentage of Barbera. On a final note, it’s great to see Gaja’s daughters Gaia and Rossana increasingly involved in the winery. They, and their younger brother Giovanni, have big shoes to fill, but couldn’t have asked for better teachers than Angelo and Lucia Gaja.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPToast and spice aromas lead off in this warm, expansive red, which quickly evokes black cherry, plum, floral and spice flavors, all allied to the silky texture and precision structure. Rich fruit and spice flavors echo on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2032. 80 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

97
RP
As low as $759.00
2008 gaja barbaresco sori tildin Barbaresco

The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn't quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That's not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It's tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a pretty singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThe 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That’s not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It’s tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.This is a stunning set of wines from Angelo Gaja and his team in Barbaresco. Those who think 2008 is a truly great year for Nebbiolo must have tasted these wines. In a vintage that is inconsistent across the villages of Barbaresco, Gaja has produced not one but four stellar wines. As fabulous as these wines are, they aren’t especially true to type, as I explain in these notes. The 2008s I tasted in the US showed far better than the bottles I tasted in Barbaresco during the summer. Perhaps the onset of the cool fall weather gave these wines a little more spine than they had during the sweltering heat of August. Readers who want to learn more about the 2011 harvest at Gaja may want to take a look at my video interview with Gaia Gaja and vineyard manager Giorgio Culasso.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPEspresso, plum, black cherry and toast aromas and flavors mark this powerful, muscular red, which is angular and out of sorts today, but dense and grainy, with a firm, tannic structure. The oak dominates the finish, so give this time. Best from 2015 through 2032. 150 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $675.00
2012 produttori del barbaresco barbaresco Barbaresco

Most of Produttori del Barbaresco’s production is dedicated to their so-called base wine (which enjoy a very strong following throughout the wine world). The 2012 Barbaresco is a beautifully ripe and generous expression that exudes dark layers of black fruit, smoke, leather, grilled herb and Teriyaki smoke. This edition feels a bit thicker and denser compared to past vintages but Produttori’s magic truly comes through the longer the wine ages. Given the fleshiness that will potentially evolve with time, this wine is geared up for a prolonged cellar life.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPA pretty red, boasting floral, strawberry and raspberry flavors, accented by tobacco and underbrush notes. The tannins are firm yet well-integrated, creating a balanced impression. Best from 2017 through 2027. 23,330 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSA big, powerful wine, the 2012 Barbaresco hits the palate with surprising depth allied to nervous tannins that are going to need time to soften. Tobacco, smoke, licorice, menthol, game and a host of dark, ferrous notes give the wine much of its virile personality. The 2012 is not as finessed as some recent vintages, yet it offers considerable potential for the future. Most importantly, it is a terrific value at a time when well-priced Barbaresco is increasingly hard to find. In 2012, the Produttori did not bottle their Riservas. When that happens, the straight Barbaresco is often an overachiever. That is certainly the case here, as the 2012 offers outstanding quality for the money, with plenty of potential for the future. I can’t think of too many wines that deliver this much pleasure and value.Antonio Galloni | 92 AGIn vintages like 2012, when Produttori chooses not to produce its nine single-cru wines, Barbaresco aficionados take it as a signal to snap up the winery’s normale, which absorbs all of the fruit that would have gone into those bottlings. The 2012 “delivers on all points,” as one of our tasters noted, hitting the classic notes of rose petals, saturated red fruit, sweet spice and earthy tobacco while ratcheting up the volume of brightness and energy. This is one to buy by the case.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&SAromas suggesting truffle, ripe woodland berry, menthol, violet and a whiff of baking spice lift out of the glass. The firmly structured palate delivers black cherry, raspberry compote, cinnamon and white pepper while assertive but refined tannins provide the framework.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

93
RP
As low as $165.00
2013 gaja barbaresco costa russi Barbaresco

The 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a real head-turner. Crystalline and utterly vivid in its expression of Nebbiolo, the 2013 is all class. Stylistically, the Costa Russi is closest to the straight Barbaresco, but it has a little more mid-palate sweetness and density. Bright floral and minty notes add lift on the chiseled, expressive finish. The Costa Russi is the star of the show this year, considering it is the least pedigreed of Gaja’s three single-vineyard sites. The 2013 has been stunningly beautiful on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.Vinous Media | 98 VMMedium ruby color. The class, strength and finesse to this wine are ever present with berry, dark-chocolate and walnut character. Full-bodied, dense and chewy. Very fresh. Chocolate, mango and ripe-strawberry flavors herald a bright finish. Needs four or five years to soften. Classic tannins. Better in 2021.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a celebration of vineyard site. In the past, this wine was blended with 5% Barbera, but this is no longer the case starting now. For the first time in recent memory, we are tasting a pure expression of Nebbiolo as harvested from the rows of vines in the Costa Russi cru, located directly below Sorì Tildìn at the base of the Barbaresco village. The vines are over 65-years-old and are planted in limestone clay and marl soils. Costa Russi is known for delicate, light-bodied wines that exhibit floral aromas of rose hip and lavender, as well as darker fruit tones at the back. Those qualities are beautifully evident in this vintage. The mouthfeel is characterized by a firm sense of tannic structure that is common to all of Gaja’s new releases in the 2013 vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis is a vintage marked by finesse rather than power, and one that will benefit from further bottle age. The raspberry-scented nose shows great elegance, with some spice tones from the oak. The attack is overtly fruity and floral, showing great charm and poise. It’s a mouthfilling wine, but doesn’t display any heaviness or clumsiness. Balanced, with exceptional length. Drinking Window 2020 - 2036Decanter | 95 DECRed berry, aromatic herb, pressed violet and dark spice aromas meld together in the glass. Firmly structured, the palate boasts intensity and energy, offering dark cherry, licorice and mint set against a backbone of fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. It’s well balanced but young so give this time to fully develop. Drink 2020–2032.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThough rich in texture, this red is vibrant and bordering on racy, with cherry, strawberry, iron, spice and floral flavors that are persistent and focused. Excellent length on the resonant finish, where fruit and spice notes reign. Best from 2020 through 2036. 155 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
VM
As low as $855.00
2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montefico Riserva

Still young but already boasting extraordinary pedigree, this fantastic wine opens with hallmark scents of wild berry, new leather, chopped herb, tilled soil and a whiff of violet. The polished, full-bodied palate delivers juicy wild cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and licorice while youthfully assertive, noble tannins and bright acidity provide age-worthy structure. A pipe tobacco note lingers on the finish. Drink 2023–2038.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEI am absolutely impressed by the stunning 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montefico. The Montefico growing site is very small and only 13,000 bottles are produced as a result. There are just three farmers who tend to this vineyard cru, and because their respective plots are very small, they rely on the Produttori del Barbaresco co-operative model for survival. This wine shows amazing depth and enlarged dimension. Aromas of black fruit, spice, tar and crushed mineral contribute to the considerable volume and power of the wine. That precise and focused mineral definition is outstanding, recalling brimstone and pencil shavings. Montefico can underperform in the hot vintages, but it hits all the high notes in the cooler 2013.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPThe Barbaresco Riserva Montefico shows all the energy and focus that is typical of this great site, but there is so much depth to the fruit that some of the more angular contours have been softened. Bright saline-infused notes lead to wild flowers and an exotic melange of red fruits in this beautifully delineated, vivid Barbaresco. All the elements are simply in the right place.Vinous Media | 96+ VMThis beefy red evokes cherry, licorice, herb, mineral and tobacco aromas and flavors. Rich and densely structured, with iron, tobacco and cherry notes lingering on the long finish. Best from 2023 through 2035. 1,111 cases made, 236 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

96+
VM
As low as $92.99
2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Ovello Riserva

The Produttori's 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is all power, tension and nerve. Even so, the 2013 is remarkably civilized and much less austere than young Ovello Barbarescos usually are. Scents of cranberry, white pepper and mint give the wine its signature high-toned aromatics. The Ovello has a Volnay-like purity to its fruit, with Nebbiolo tannins and structure, of course. If that sounds appealing, well, it is. Vivid, sculpted and impossibly beautiful, the Ovello is simply magnificent.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is the third wine tasted in our lineup of Produttori del Barbaresco Riservas and is one of my favorite expressions overall. The Ovello vineyard site sees a greater presence of limestone in its soil composition, and this factor helps to develop the tannic structure and consistency of the wine. At 18 hectares, Ovello is one of the biggest cru sites sourced by this co-operative estate. Twelve separate farmers tend to their private parcels in Ovello. Fruit from this site is often the main component of Produttori's base Barbaresco along with blending material from Montestefano, Pora and Muncagöta (previously known as Moccagatta). You notice the color graduation getting darker here. The bouquet is expressive and bright and reflective of the cool and crisp late summer and pre-harvest nights. Some 17,000 bottles were made along with 1,500 magnums.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPThis red starts out with bright cherry, strawberry, rose and mineral flavors, allied to a refined, linear frame. Harmonious now and should be ready soon, but the vivid structure will serve it well into the future. Best from 2023 through 2037. 1,430 cases made, 336 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS2013 was cool with above average rainfall - though less than 2014. Similarly, the weather improved in September and remained clement until harvest began on 8 October. Vacca refers to it as a classic year with temperatures never exceeding 28°C. Brooding earthy aromas make way for white pepper and mint, while flavours of redcurrant and spice lead to lingering dried leaf notes on the finish. Slightly weightier than the sprightly 2014, the 2013 still demonstrates a sinewy edge along with dry, brisk tannins and crunchy acidity. It needs time to smooth out and expand into its full complexity. Released in spring 2018. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 94 DECWild berry, camphor, moist earth and violet aromas unfold in the glass. The structured, refined palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, orange slice and white pepper alongside polished tannins and bright acidity. A soothing licorice note lingers on the finish. Drink through 2028.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

96
VM
As low as $185.00
2013 produttori del barbaresco barbaresco rabaja riserva Barbaresco

A hallmark expression of Nebbiolo, Produttori del Barbaresco's 2013 Rabajà Riserva offers aromas of wild red berry, menthol, Alpine herb, saddle leather and dark culinary spice. The concentrated palate boasts enviable finesse and is practically weightless in the mouth, showing crushed black cherry, juicy raspberry, orange zest, clove and licorice alongside firm, velvety tannins. Bright acidity provides impeccable balance. Drink 2021–2033.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is a gorgeous wine with a dark and penetrating quality of fruit that wraps sensuously over the palate. Our tasting order sees this wine as the sixth sample in a lineup of nine Riservas that were tasted in order of increasing structure and power. Well-exposed and sun-drenched fruit from the Rabajà cru offers dark color saturation and thickness. The high limestone content of the soils means this is a hotter growing site that performs best in cooler vintages like 2013. Those soil types help to concentrate the fruit, and you taste that here in terms of the wine's broad concentration and vertical delivery of black fruit aromas. This is a complete and seamlessly integrated wine with drying mineral sensations on the powerful finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is shockingly seamless in this tasting. Deep layers of fruit virtually bury the tannins, something that is so unusual for a young Rabajà. A host of dark blue-tone fruits, lavender, mint, violet and spice race across the palate in an utterly vivid, compelling Barbaresco of the highest level. Perhaps I caught the Rabajà on an unusually open day, but it is terrific and also quite refined for such a young wine.Vinous Media | 96 VMThis fruity version features floral, cherry and plum flavors, along with savory leather, licorice and tobacco notes. A chewy texture and lively acidity keep this well-defined through the long finish. Complex and classy. Best from 2023 through 2038. 1,420 cases made, 336 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

96
VM
As low as $99.99
2014 la ca’ nova barbaresco montestefano Barbaresco

The 2014 Barbaresco Montestefano is fabulous. Rich, ample and explosive, as the best wines from this site are, the 2014 covers every corner of the palate with intense fruit, bright acidity and structure. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, orange peel, spice, tobacco, leather, smoke and licorice infuse the exotic, resonant finish. The Montestefano is always a wine of breadth. That is exactly what comes through here.Vinous Media | 96 VMAromatic herb, woodland berry, violet, citrus zest and tilled soil scents take shape in the glass. The succulent, linear palate doles out cranberry, red cherry white pepper and star anise flavors, bolstered by a backbone of firm, refined tannins and bright acidity.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

96
VM
As low as $64.99
2014 roagna barbaresco crichet paje Italy Red

The 2014 Barbaresco Crichët Pajè is an absolutely exquisite wine that shows how compelling this vintage is in Barbaresco. Fresh, vibrant and wonderfully deep, the 2014 races out of the glass, showing tremendous depth, energy and pedigree. Crushed red-toned fruit, orange peel, rose petal, anise and mint are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop, but its really the wine’s balance that impresses more than anything else. It’s a super classic wine from Alfredo and Luca Roagna.Vinous Media | 97 VMA solidly structured red, delivering macerated cherry and plum flavors accented by eucalyptus, spice, mint, iron and earth notes. Turns lean and sinewy on the lingering finish for now, yet a thread of ripe fruit lurks underneath. Best from 2025 through 2043. 136 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97
VM
As low as $1,249.00
2015 cascina baricchi barbaresco riserva rose delle casasse Italy Red

The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Rose delle Casasse is one of the most distinctive wines in all of Piedmont. It emerges from a tiny parcel in Neive first planted in 1913 with the Rose clone of Nebbiolo known for its aromatic intensity, that is rarely seen these days. Deeply bright and perfumed, the 2015 offers up an exotic mélange of sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, spice, rose petal and kirsch. There’s terrific depth and plenty of substance to wrap it all together. The 2015 spent four years in wood, a combination of small barrels and medium-sized casks. I wonder what this wine would like taste like if it was aged in more neutral oak, as there is a bit of oak tannin here. Even so, the 2015 is an exquisite wine and a Barbaresco of real character.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

96
VM
As low as $67.99
2015 gaja barbaresco Barbaresco

Woodland berry, blue flower, sunbaked soil and a whiff of dark spice shape the nose. Structured and extremely elegant, the focused, impeccable palate doles out juicy red cherry, strawberry, baking spice and star anise set against taut polished tannins that provide seamless support. It’s well balanced, with fresh acidity. It’s already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2032. Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEA combination of savory and fruit elements, this red reveals cherry, berry, eucalyptus, menthol, tar and mineral flavors. Firms up, with monolithic tannins locking this tight. Patience is required. Best from 2023 through 2042. 900 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 95 WSA rich and layered Barbaresco with cedar and plums, as well as light leather and rose aromas that follow to a full yet balanced palate and a chewy finish. Very polished. Drink in 2020, but already beautiful.James Suckling | 95 JSGaja’s 2015 Barbaresco is gorgeous. Deep, pliant and resonant, the 2015 exudes class from the very first taste. Today, the aromatics are not especially open or expressive, but it is the wine’s depth and overall sense of harmony that really carry the day. Hints of orange peel, spice and rosewater give the 2015 an exotic aromatic top register that is hugely appealing. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this gem. The 2015 is a wonderfully complete and harmonious wine, but it really does need a few years in the cellar to fully unwind.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe 2015 Barbaresco was to be bottled a week after I tasted this sample for review. Gaia Gaja was waiting for the right moon before commencing bottling. This vintage is not unlike the 2005 growing season that saw a good amount of rain in spring and scorching heat in the summer. The risk of downy mildew made vintners extra vigilant. Although the 2015 vintage was not ideal for color fixing Nebbiolo (indeed, this wine is slightly less intense in terms of its color saturation), it did prove an important year for power, structure and dry extract. This is a full and generous expression with a fine, loose texture and rich fruit flavors.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPClassic Nebbiolo perfume of violet and raspberry, followed by red cranberry and cherry fruit. Sweet, slightly creamy oak; this is approachable and – although it lacks the depth of the single vineyard wines – it’s still impressively long with gorgeous charm. (Drink between 2018-2032)Decanter | 92 DEC

96
WE
As low as $495.00
2015 Sottimano Barbaresco Curra

Here’s a little hop, skip and a jump back in time to a vintage with great personality and character. The Sottimano 2015 Barbaresco Currá is a majestic expression that unfolds to reveal dark fruit, spice and carefully evolved aromas of tar, licorice and spent embers. Past vintages of this wine have started off slow and closed (that’s one of Currá’s age-worthy attributes), but the warm and sunny 2015 vintage starts with high aromatic intensity. The wine is aged in neutral oak (with only 10% new barrel) and fruit comes from 50- to 60-year-old vines in Neive. The mouthfeel is young and spicy, so this wine won’t be fully accessible for another 10 years or so. A mere 2,500 bottles were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe limestone and clay soils of the Currà cru tend to produce wines with muscular tannins, which is why Andra Sottimano releases this bottling later than his other Barbarescos. The wine rested in French oak barrels (15 percent new) for two years, giving the tannins the firm feel of new leather. The red-cherry flavors are vibrant, infused with notes of cardamom and anise.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 96 W&SThe decision to release the 2015 Barbaresco Currà two years later than the other wines has paid off handsomely, as the incisive young Currà tannins have now had time to start to soften, which in turn gives the wine tremendous openness that is on display today. Blood orange, pomegranate, sweet red cherry, star anise and cinnamon imbue the 2015 with an alluring sense of exoticism that is impossible to miss. Bright and lifted, the 2015 is just starting to develop the first signs of aromatic nuance. It will drink well for many years to come.Vinous Media | 95 VMFragrant and focused, this offers tantalizing aromas of rose, violet, woodland berry and Asian incense. Firm and linear, the chiseled palate evokes red cherry, cranberry, star anise and a hint of white pepper set against tightly wound, fine-grained tannins. It’s still young and austere but balanced, with vibrant acidity. Give it ample time to fully develop. Drink 2023–2038. Kerin O’Keefe | 95 KOFragrant and focused, this offers tantalizing aromas of rose, violet, woodland berry and Asian incense. Firm and linear, the chiseled palate evokes red cherry, cranberry, star anise and a hint of white pepper set against tightly wound fine-grained tannins. It’s still young and austere but balanced, with vibrant acidity. Give it ample time to fully develop. Drink 2023–2038.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThis red is concentrated and packed with cherry, plum, tar, iron and underbrush flavors. It’s fluid and supple, with a mass of sinewy tannins guarding the finish. Best from 2024 through 2045. 208 cases made, 75 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96
RP
As low as $99.00
2016 bruno giacosa barbaresco rabaja Italy Red

This is a very sexy, soft Barbaresco with chocolate, earth and pure fruit, from strawberries to cherries. Medium -o full-bodied with elegant tannins that give form to this wine. It’s fine and lovely in the mouth. Exciting. A fine, granular-textured red. Drinkable now, but better in 2024.James Suckling | 97 JSI tasted this wine next to the 2017 vintage, and the differences between the two growing seasons are remarkable. The 2017 expression is open, more accessible and singing from the glass. However, the Bruno Giacosa 2016 Barbaresco Rabajà is certainly more reserved and timid if tasted now. The wine opens to beautiful richness, saturation and concentration. There is plenty of dark fruit and bright cherry with ample textural richness that is followed by sweet tannins and an attractively tight or firm structure. Saline or mineral notes give the wine sharpness and added dimension. It has all its cards in place for long aging, and the wine most certainly needs more time in the bottle.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPElegant and graceful, this offers cherry, strawberry, rose, tobacco, iron and spice flavors on a linear frame. The steely structure and tension deliver plenty of grip. Balanced in the end, with a chalky feel on the finish. Best from 2023 through 2045. 40 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2016 Barbaresco Rabajà is very nicely done. It offers up an enticing mélange of dark-fleshed fruit, spice, licorice, sage, tobacco and menthol, all in a relatively mid-weight, light style for this site. The 2016 won’t make Giacosa fans forget about the 2001 or 2004, but it is certainly very nicely balanced. Overall, the 2016 is a bit light for Rabajà, but attractive if taken on its own terms. It should drink well for another decade or so.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

As low as $290.00
2016 cascina luisin barbaresco paolin Italy Red

You get a real sense of ripeness, as soon as you get a whiff of this red; blackberry essence, ripe stems, vanilla and lifted balsamic vinegar and shoe polish are out in full force. It’s on the full-bodied palate where the power really hits you — this is a chewy, full-bodied Barbaresco with unforgiving, stocky tannins and densely packed dark fruit. Don’t tread lightly here, but expect a powerhouse of fruit and tannin! Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JSRose, menthol, wild herb and forest berry aromas lead the nose. Linear and elegantly structured, the savory palate is loaded with finesse, offering wild cherry extract, licorice and orange zest framed in firm, refined tannins. Bright acidity lends balance and tension. Drink 2024–2036.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEStrawberry, cherry, eucalyptus and mineral flavors highlight this slim yet flavorful red. Balanced and refined, featuring a resonant finish packed with lively tannins. Best from 2022 through 2040. 750 cases made, 105 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

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As low as $39.99
2016 la spinetta barbaresco valeirano Italy Red

Another wine of importance from La Spinetta, this is a well-structured and compact expression with lots of dark fruit and ripe berries buried within. The 2016 Barbaresco Valeirano Vürsù, sporting a fittingly hefty rhinoceros depicted on the front of the bottle, is heavier and denser than the others from this line. There are dry and astringent tannins, and like the pachyderm on the label, this wine will live to a ripe old age—if it isn’t poached from the cellar beforehand. Some 7,000 bottles were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPThe 2016 Barbaresco Vigneto Valeirano is the most refined wine I have tasted from this site in Treiso. The tannins, always forbidding in Valeirano, are wonderfully polished, and yet convey the essential feeling of structure that is such a central part of what makes Barbaresco so compelling as a wine. Dark wild cherry, incense, graphite, spice and dried flowers add shades of dimension to this virile, potent Barbaresco that captures the essence of this site, but with an added touch of sophistication that is quite welcome. I can’t wait to see how the 2016 ages. In a word: Superb!Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGDistinctive aromas of rose, black currant and raspberry mark this taut, intense red, which is sleek and firmly structured, with lively acidity and dusty tannins mingling with fruit, savory and mineral elements on the long aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2038. 583 cases made, 200 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 94 WSDark peaches, glazed cherries, Christmas cake, orange peel and wet earth. Full-bodied and very structured on the palate, where chewy tannins carry dried red berries long and spicy. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JS

As low as $165.00
2016 michele chiarlo barbaresco faset Barbaresco

Forest floor, new leather, camphor and rose aromas mingle with a toasted note. Linear and racy, the precise, elegantly structured palate offers dried cherry, espresso, orange peel and licorice alongside firm, close-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2024–2036.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThis is a superb nose that shows pressed violets, blueberry compote, hibiscus, tangerines and orange blossom. Medium-bodied with delightful polish to the deft tannins and acidity that cuts through the blue fruit like butter. A refined, floral style of unmistakable beauty. Drink from 2021.James Suckling | 93 JSThis wine truly underlines the differences between the single vineyards of Barbaresco. The Faset vineyard is located only about 300 meters from Asili, yet the wines made from these respective sites are completely different. The 2016 Barbaresco Faset shows more heft and fiber with brooding dark fruit. This wine shows a whole different level of intensity. Pair it with Piedmont’s plin ravioli.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RPThe 2016 Barbaresco Faset is a bold, punchy wine. Spice, leather, cedar, dried flowers, mint and a touch of new oak all give the Faset a super-distinctive aromatic profile. The flavors are really popping in the Faset today. I especially like the wine’s energy.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

94
WE
As low as $59.95
2016 produttori del barbaresco barbaresco rio sordo riserva Barbaresco

The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo takes it up a notch if you consider the tasting of each one of these single-vineyard wines tasted in order. With the Rio Sordo, you really start to feel the textural richness and fruit weight that can be achieved with Nebbiolo in a great vintage. This vintage is compact and tightly woven together, suggesting a forecast for an extra long drinking window. The Alutto and Marengo families farm the fruit used in this blend. This wine will live long, and I love that touch of candied licorice that appears on the close (especially when you come back to the open bottle 24 hours later). Production is 11,355 bottles.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPEucalyptus, cut hay and licorice accent the cherry, plum and mineral flavors in this suave red. Firm and powerful, with assertive, nervous tannins and vibrant acidity. A bit jumbled today, yet there is energy and length on the finish indicating its future potential. Best from 2025 through 2045. 1,111 cases made, 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is a serious, somber wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and menthol show off the darker side of Nebbiolo to great effect. In most vintages, Rio Sordo is an easygoing wine, but not in 2016. Readers will find a potent, brooding yet mid-weight Barbaresco that screams with character. What a way to start this tasting!Antonio Galloni | 94 AG(Barbaresco “Rio Sordo” Riserva- Produttori del Barbaresco) The 2016 Rio Sordo Riserva from the Produttori is outstanding. The inherent purity of the 2016 vintage really dovetails beautifully with the smoky, meaty personality of this terroir, with the classy bouquet offering up scents of cherries, anise, a hint of orange peel, red curry, smoked meats, beautiful Piemontese herb tones, woodsmoke and a very complex base of soil that will go autumnal in personality in the not too distant future. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and structured, with a great core of fruit, plenty of well-integrated, chewy tannins and a long, focused and impeccably balanced finish. Not surprisingly, this is a young wine and needs plenty of cellaring to allow all of its impressive complexity to blossom and its tannins to soften up. When it is ready to drink, it will be superb. (Drink between 2035-2090).John Gilman | 93 JGWith ample time, this eventually reveals camphor, ripe dark-skinned berry and new leather aromas that mingle with a whiff of truffle. The full-bodied palate is also on the shy side, suggesting dried cherry, blood orange, rusty nail and licorice set against assertive, close-grained tannins that grip the close. Give the tannins a few more years to unwind, then drink sooner rather than later.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE

96
WS
As low as $120.00
2017 albino rocca barbaresco angelo Italy Red

Aromas of iris, ripe dark-skinned berries and truffle mingle with ground clove on this smooth, compelling red. On the delicious, full-bodied palate, firm, fine-grained tannins wrap around ripe Marasca cherry, blood orange and licorice while fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Drink 2024–2032.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 2017 Barbaresco Angelo is superb. The aromatics alone are simply beguiling. Rose petal, mint, lavender, pine, orange peel and sweet red cherry give the Angelo remarkable allure. Pliant and silky on the palate, with striking resonance, the Angelo impresses from the very first taste. Its overall balance is simply remarkable. I loved it.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGThis is bright and bursting with cherry, raspberry, licorice and iron aromas and flavors, while savory elements of eucalyptus, wild thyme and cut hay add detail. Fine balance and length. Best from 2024 through 2038. 175 cases made, 30 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

95
VM
As low as $59.99
2018 fontanabianca barbaresco Barbaresco

The Fontanabianca 2018 Barbaresco is taut and elegant, showing the kind of bright primary fruit that should accompany this wine as it begins and completes its aging trajectory. The wine is very silky and fine, and it shows a nuanced texture that gives this bottle its competitive edge. Fruit comes from a 4.5-hectare site with south and southeast exposures and calcareous clay soils. Production is an ample 30,000 bottles.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPSourced from three vineyards within Neive, the 2018 Barbaresco was aged for 20-22 months in a combination of large barrels and barriques. The 2018 leads with medicinal herbs of Amaro, sour cherry, barnyard, and apricot. Fresh with tangy pomegranate pulp on the palate, orange peel, and turned earth, with building tannins on the finish, there is a natural feel and sensibility to the wine that is full of energy. Drink 2021-2032.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JDRed cherries with hints of cassis and earth, against a background of solid, spicy oak. Medium-bodied with firm oak and fruit tannins and a rather chewy finish. Give this two or three of years to even out. Best from 2024.James Suckling | 92 JSPacked with plum, cherry, earth, tobacco and iron flavors, this red is as savory as it is fruity. Firms up on the finish, with mouthcoating tannins leaving their mark on the finish. Eucalyptus and rosemary accents linger. Best from 2025 through 2045. 2,800 cases made, 1,200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WSAromas of camphor, red berries and dark spice lead the way along with a whiff of toasted nut. Racy and rather austere, the linear palate offers sour cherry, blood orange and raw coffee bean framed in taut, close-grained tannins that leave a firm finish. Give it a few more years to fully integrate. Drink 2024–2029.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

93
RP
As low as $32.99
2018 la ca’ nova barbaresco montestefano Barbaresco

Forest floor, cedar, new leather and camphor aromas take shape in the glass on this compelling, earthy red. Showing a Barolo-like structure, the full-bodied, savory palate has an alluring wildness and energy to it, delivering dried cherry, blood orange, black olive and licorice framed against a backbone of tightly knit tannins. Bright acidity keeps it balanced. It’s still youthfully austere and needs a few more years to fully develop. Drink 2026–2038.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 2018 Barbaresco Montestefano is brisk and engaging. This is an especially strict reading of Montestefano that seems to have more of Montefico-like sense of vibrancy and tension. Rosewater, orange peel, white pepper and bright red-toned fruit are all finely cut. The 2018 comes across as a touch severe today. I would cellar it for a few years and see what happens.Vinous Media | 94 VM

94
VM
As low as $42.99

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