Barbaresco and Nebbiolo to Buy Now!

These earliest days of autumn are the perfect time to be exploring the current vintages from Piedmont and there is no better way to do that than with barbaresco and Nebbiolo.

 


To welcome fall, and without a doubt the season has arrived, like clockwork, the moment our Labor Day weekend had wrapped up, I have always had a bit of a tradition of opening some Barbaresco. While my heart may belong to Barolo, the somewhat more elegant and more approachable wines of Barbaresco are perfect for times when you are looking for something lighter, and often somewhat less expensive than the best wines of Barolo.
 
Also worth consideration at this time are the great Nebbiolo wines that so many producers bottle at fair, though increasing less affordable prices. I have devoted quite a bit of space on these pages to Barolo and the 2010 vintage, and at the same time I have also suggested that the 2011 vintage, while not as classical a vintage as the focused and austere 2010, would provide for some remarkable drinking for those who are either not so patient, or more welcoming of the extra fruit a precocious, warm climate vintage delivers.
 
Barbaresco producers typically release their wines a year before those of Barolo, reflecting the less stringent requirements of the DOCG. As such we can get a glimpse of the quality of 2011 by sampling the current crop of Barbaresco as well as dipping our tongues into all the straight Nebbiolo that makes its way to our shores. While I consider Barbaresco affordable, it’s obvious that these wines are not inexpensive. For real value your best bet in Nebbiolo are they myriad base bottlings of Langhe Nebbiolo and/or Nebbiolo d’Alba, particularly those from some of the top producers whose Nebbiolo can compete with many Barolo and Barbaresco. 
 
Today I offer you lists of my favorite Nebbiolo and Barbaresco from my visits to Piedmont this year. You can find examples from 2010 through 2012 on shelves right now. Of these my favorite for Nebbiolo is 2011, as it is for Barbaresco as well though 2010 Barbaresco can be very exciting as well. The base Nebbiolos though tend to have benefited from the added warmth of the 2011 vintage, a vintage where the top sites yielded fruit that might be a bit over-ripe or at a minimum particularly rich in sugar and thus alcohol, but at the less well positioned sites the fruit seems for the most part to have reached perfect, if full maturity and the wines show that. The Nebbiolo and Barbaresco in bottle and the Barolo in barrel are across the board the most exciting group of Nebbiolo based wines I’ve ever experienced from a warmer vintage.
 
What this means for the average consumer is more fruit, softer tannins, and earlier approachability than usual. All of which have traditionally been issues facing Nebbiolo based wines when it comes to consumers with new world palates. Which is not to say that these wines will turn off those with old world plates. These are not 2000s, 1997s, or 2007s. They are a cut well above those vintages and one which I am thoroughly enjoying as I broaden my appreciation of these fine wines!

12 Great Nebbiolo's Worth Exploring!

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Top 11 Barbaresco tasted in 2014

1.
Cascina Delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo (2011)
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2.
Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva (2010)
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3.
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano (2009)
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4.
Rizzi Barbaresco Pajore (2010)
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5.
Cascina Delle Rose Barbaresco Tre Stelle (2011)
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6.
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello (2009)
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7.
Oddero Barbaresco Gallina (2010)
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8.
Barbaresco Bric Turot. Prunotto (2009)
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9.
Oddero Barbaresco Gallina (2011)
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10.
Barale Barbaresco Serraboella (2009)
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11.
Prunotto Barbaresco (2011)
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Comments

  • Snooth User: qathc
    1421888 12

    Save this list

    Sep 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM


  • Snooth User: bob kiley
    1468403 3

    WHAT ABOUT GAJA!!

    Sep 11, 2014 at 8:50 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Starting at $150 a bottle it's too rich for my blood.

    Sep 12, 2014 at 9:53 AM


  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 4,006

    Those Cascina Delle Rose wines were the surprise of my trip in May, thanks for introducing me to them. Of course, now that you've let everyone know about them, they will disappear before I get a chance to grab a bunch.

    And, yeah, Gaja is just too pricey for all but a few of us. So why obsess about them when there are these great choices. (That Oddero was also really fantastic, and I liked it better than their Barolos--Luca at Produttori was right about that one!)

    Sep 12, 2014 at 5:19 PM


  • Try Varaldo Lori Loreto 2007. Piacere Barbaresco happens the 18th and 19th of October this year.

    Sep 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM


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