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Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

As one of Italy’s most reputable and revered wine regions, Piedmont enjoys a lot of well-deserved praise and attention. The region’s placement in the Alpine foothills creates a unique microclimate, where winters are noticeably colder, and the summers are close to what you’d experience in Burgundy. As you might imagine, this environment allows for a lot of versatility and diversity when it comes to wine flavors and styles. For a wine lover, exploring Piedmont feels like they’re a child again, exploring a vast, colorful candy store; you just don’t know where to start!

The diverse soil composition of Piedmont allows many popular grape varietals to thrive, including Nebbiolo, Barbera, Moscato, and Dolcetto. Depending on who you buy from, you can expect to experience many different aromatics and flavor traces, including dried herbs, rose petals, juicy and plump cherries, star anise, minerals, and many more. It’s this mind-boggling versatility that compels the curious, this promise of semi-familiar yet intriguing pleasures, and wines that stimulate the mind as much as they caress the palate.

Food is a crucial part of Italy’s cultural identity, and connoisseurs of good food often find themselves falling in love with the wine that accompanies it. Piedmont is approachable enough to help you create magical feasts and meals, and what better way to enjoy them than by sharing with the people closest to your heart. Whether you’re a decorated wine veteran or a newbie, this region has so, so much to offer you. The longevity of Piedmont wines is impressive enough to last a decade or two and develop even more compelling subtleties and nuances. How can you resist?

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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 bruno giacosa barbaresco asili red label ris. Barbaresco

Giacosa’s 2007 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is flamboyant, exotically ripe and stunning in its absolute beauty. Bright red cherry fruit, rose petal, violet and mint abound in a spellbinding, utterly thrilling Barbaresco. I have always adored the 2007. Once again, it is pure magic.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGThis will be in the market in 2012. This is full and rich with irresistible silky tannins. This brings more substance and richness than the white label. Lay this down until 2016. 10,000 bottles.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2007 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is a massive, towering wine of majestic proportions. Everything comes together in the glass; expressive aromatics, striking fruit, powerful yet silky tannins and a long, impeccable finish. This complex, kaleidoscopic Barbaresco is a wine for the ages. The Riserva Asili is a surprisingly powerful wine from this vineyard. Readers will have to wait until 2011, when the wine is released, to taste this utterly profound Barbaresco. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2037.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPBursting with sweet cherry, floral, licorice and spice flavors, this ripe red is expressive, supple, balanced and dense, showing the structure to age and a finish of fig and tobacco notes. Best from 2016 through 2030. 170 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

97
RP
As low as $1,365.00
2007 gaja barbaresco sori tildin Barbaresco

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
2010 gaja barbaresco sori san lorenzo Barbaresco

A banner wine for Gaja, the 2010 Sori San Lorenzo brings the infinite and ethereal aromas associated with Nebbiolo into startling focus and clarity. Again, like the Sori Tildin, the structure and tannic firmness of the wine will carry the wine forward over the years and decades ahead. It demands much more time until it fully blossoms. I walked through the San Lorenzo vineyard with Gaia Gaja and she showed me some of their recent activity. Every second row is planted with barley that acts as a natural rototiller given its aggressive root system. Borrowing other “New World” ideas, they’ve started compost piles with Californian red worms and are using (with less success, I’m told) wooden tree boxes to repopulate the birds. All of this must seem very odd to the neighbors. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.Just a short while ago, in the midst of one of Italy’s darkest political hours when forming a functioning government seemed like an exercise in futility, someone sent me a Facebook petition proposing Angelo Gaja as a candidate for President of the Republic of Italy. Although Angelo himself would brush it off as jest, that seedling of a (good) idea took the Internet by firestorm. What he has demonstrated over the years, besides from his infectious enthusiasm and keen ability to communicate his thoughts with brilliant clarity and gumption, is a natural ability for leadership. Barbaresco is lucky to have an Angelo Gaja, the Langhe is lucky to have him, and Italy is, too.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 2010 Sorì San Lorenzo jumps from the glass with lavender, violets, plums, smoke and licorice, all in a lifted, precise style built on finesse. The tannins are remarkably sweet and polished for such a young wine. The pulsating fruit and sense of structure are reminiscent of the 1999, but here, there is perhaps a little more finesse and slightly more compelling balance.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAromas of marble, dried cherries and iron, with hints of iodine. Full-bodied, tannic and chewy, yet balanced and refined all the same. This needs the most age of the single-vineyard, 2010 Gaja Nebbiolos. Try in 2018.James Suckling | 96 JSThis muscular red features ample fruit, with a fine quality to the stiff tannins, offering loads of cherry, tar and sandalwood flavors, with excellent length. Give this a few years. Best from 2016 through 2032. 500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
RP
As low as $465.00
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 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
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 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
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
2016 la ca’ nova barbaresco montestefano Barbaresco

Forest floor, red berry, leather and pipe tobacco aromas are front and center. The intense, full-bodied palate offers impressive structure and finesse, delivering succulent Marasca cherry, cinnamon, star anise and a hint of hazelnut alongside assertive but noble tannins and vibrant acidity. It already shows focus and depth, but give it time to fully bloom.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe 2016 Barbaresco Montestefano is simply magnificent. Bright floral overtones and red/purplish berry fruit give the Montestefano a feeling of focus and explosive energy that is compelling. Hints of mocha, leather, smoke, lavender and a whole range of balsamic inflections open up in the glass, revealing a Barbaresco of power, structure and complexity. Ample in feel and yet wonderfully vibrant, the Montestefano is wonderfully complete. It is also one of the very best wines I have ever tasted from La Ca' Nova. The Montestefano is a bit more showy today than the Montefico, but both wines are remarkable.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

95+
VM
As low as $77.99
2016 la ca nova barbaresco montefico vigna bric mentina Italy Red

The 2016 Barbaresco Montefico Vigna Bric Mentina is dark, dense, powerful and super expressive. Black cherry, mocha, leather, licorice and menthol are some of the many notes that take shape in a Barbaresco that is bursting with energy. Chalk, orange peel, dried flowers and mint add layers of nuance as the wine opens up in the glass. This brooding, potent Barbaresco needs time to be at its best, but it is clearly a great wine in the making.Antonio Galloni | 95+ AG

96
VM
As low as $78.99
2016 Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva

The 2016 Rabajà Riserva is drop-dead gorgeous, starting with its luminous ruby color and beautiful aromas of forest berry, rose, iris, menthol and star anise. Full-bodied, delicious and focused, the elegantly structured palate features juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and saline mineral notes before a minty close. While expressive and savory, it also shows the restraint of the best world-class wines and is beautifully balanced, with polished tannins and fresh acidity. What a stunner. Drink 2024–2036. Abv: 14.5% Kerin O’Keefe | 99 KOThe 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is stellar. Just starting to open aromatically, the 2016 is superb in this tasting. Sweet macerated cherry, spice, new leather, tobacco and dried herbs all grace the 2016 with notable aromatic complexity. As always, the Riserva is an ethereal, engaging wine with less immediacy and mid-palate than the other Barbarescos here, but in exchange tons of nuance. This is the best showing yet for the 2016, a wine that satisfies both the hedonistic and intellectual senses.Vinous Media | 97 VMDisplaying great structure and aromatics within a medium frame, the 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja’ is lifted with licorice, cranberry cocktail, and pink peppercorn. It is a gorgeous wine with great balance, a long finish, and its fruit holding throughout. Ripe, fresh, and not showing any signs of maturity, this is a fantastic and racy wine that delivers a lot of pleasure. Angular, fresh, and ripe with grenadine, cranberry, and salty earth, it is an outstanding wine from Cortese to drink over the next 20 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDThe Giuseppe Cortese 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is a late release and one I am sure this winery is quite happy to see go to market given the hype surrounding this excellent vintage. There is a very pretty smoothness here, both in terms of the aromatic delivery and the mouthfeel, which shows how nicely Nebbiolo can reach balance. The bouquet is lithe and delicate with wild berry, crushed rose petal, white licorice and campfire ash. Some 6,000 bottles were made. Great job.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPPacked with sweet, ripe cherry, raspberry, rose, mineral and spice flavors, this red is also fluid and balanced, driven by lively acidity and firm, well-integrated tannins. Fresh, invigorating and long, this is approachable now, yet will be better in 2-3 years. Best from 2024 through 2042. 500 cases made, 50 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 RPThe aromas of rose stems and black cherries with some redcurrants are enticing. Also bark and earth. It’s full-to medium-bodied with very fine tannins and a fresh and bright finish. It’s just starting to open now and shows such finesse and beauty. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSHigh-toned red cherry and berry flavors show a hint of sweetness that’s balanced by a pleasant amaro bitterness in this Riserva. It’s just beginning to show a hint of earthy development, yet is still tightly coiled, its powerful ferrous tannins needing time to relax.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 94 W&S

97
VM
As low as $149.00
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

94
KO
As low as $39.99
2016 gaja barbaresco mixed case (2x costa russi, sori tildin, sori san lorenzo) Barbaresco
As low as $3,649.00
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 gaja barbaresco Barbaresco

Aromas of rose, red berry and eucalyptus mingle with whiffs of exotic spice on the gorgeous, fragrant red. Loaded with finesse and tension, the elegant, structured palate delivers crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise set against fresh acidity and taut, lithe tannins. It's already compelling, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2036.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThis is all about finesse with power. Such great length here with ever so refined tannins and precise strawberry, cedar, dried-rose and mineral character. Medium body. Fresh and vivid finish. Hard not to drink now, but wait until at least 2021.James Suckling | 96 JSI tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPGaja's 2016 Barbaresco is positively stellar. A wine of poise and grace, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive spice and floral notes open up first, but what really stands out is the wine's nuance and delineation. There is a sense of translucency to the 2016 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, mint, cinnamon and rose petal develop in the glass, adding further shades of nuance. Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don't miss it.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe Gaja family calls 2016 one of the best vintages they have ever experienced, with a long, slow ripening period without heat stress or disease pressure. That balance comes through in this suave, elegant Barbaresco. It smells of soft rose petals and tastes of juicy cherries and spiced raspberries, the flavors gliding along smooth, ripe tannins. With air, the wine picks up energy and depth, moving into a long, vibrant finish.Wine & Spirits | 96 W&SThis gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043. 1,800 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2016 Barbaresco showed beautifully, with a classical yet seductive and sweetly fruited style that's going to evolve gracefully. Medium ruby-hued, with a core of sweet red fruits balanced by classic dried flowers, licorice, asphalt, and medicinal herbs, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness that carries impress sweet fruit as well as building tannins. Barbaresco doesn't get more classic, and while it has a sunny, sweetly fruited style, it also has ample underlying tannins and structure, so give bottles 4-5 years. It should deliver the goods for two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe nose is poised, displaying very ripe raspberry and black berry aromas. The attack has intensity, partly thanks to its pungent acidity, but there's no rawness and the tannins are ripe. This is taut and structured and needs time. While concentrated, it's not excessively so, and the wine retains its delicacy through the very long finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 93 DEC

98
WE
As low as $265.00
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 $140.00
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 $285.00
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 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
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
2019 luigi einaudi barbaresco Italy Red

The 2019 Luigi Einaudi Barbaresco is a little closed at first, but some notes of cherry, chalk and smoke emerge. It is firmly structured with lots of tannins - prominent but not harsh - and a fine, silty texture. The dark cherry fruit is hidden in the dense structure but persists on the finish along with lots of fresh juiciness. It has a quite long and angular "Giacometti" shape to the wine, and a smoky, chalky austerity. It needs another 2-3 years to begin to unravel but it should keep for 20 years plus.The Wine Independent | 94 TWIA very subtle and pretty 2019 Barbaresco with plum and orange peel, as well as floral undertones. Medium body, fine tannins and an attractive finish. Subtle and rather elegant. Drink now or hold.James Suckling | 92 JS

92
JS
As low as $27.99

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