Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Sottimano Barbaresco Curra 2005

Posted by JonDerry, Mar 11, 2012.

Attended a blind tasting last night with the OC Wine Elite and out of the 8 wines from different regions, the 2005 Sottomano Barbaresco Curra was easiest to identify as Nebbiolo. Even though the smell of "burnt rubber" is known to describe Cava, i've always associated the smell with Nebbiolo. Some of the members of the tasting were saying "Tar & Roses". 

I've drunk a few lower class Nebbiolo's in the past (Vietti Langhe, and cheaper Barolo's), though this was my first Barbaresco, and definitely the best Nebbiolo wine i've tasted to date. As the saying goes, you have to start somewhere. Though I think this wine, at the $60 level presents pretty fair value. Other than the nose, what really stood out about this wine (and in Piemonte Nebbiolo in general i'm sure), is the intense freshness of it, there's menthol and tree sap (eucalyptus?) early, then plenty of extra sour cherries with some air. Nice, persistent finish reignites more freshness. 

Looking forward to many more evenings involving this grape and region. Though i'm still trying to learn what producers are offering the best wines, and which offer best values, or both. 


Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 11, 2012.

Seems a nice tasting, which were the other 7 bottles?

Sottimano is a good producer of Barbaresco but there's a lot of producers in the same Q/P range. Unfortunately its Q/P is a lot higher here with really good prices (around 30/35€). If you want to go deep with Nebbiolo, Barbaresco is surely a good first step and with affordable prices. If you want there's a lot of other wines that use Nebbiolo as main grape, the most important after Barolo and Barbaresco is "Valtellina Superiore" and "Sforzato di valtellina" (made with withered grapes) both 90% at least of Nebbiolo (this Docg sometime use a different name for Nebbiolo and call it as "chiavennasca" don't worry same grape).

Other Docg with Nebbiolo as main grape are "Gattinara" and "Ghemme" (these Docg sometimes call Nebbiolo as "Spanna" but is the same grape) and Doc "Lessona" and "Carema". All that wines are from Piedmont where there's some other wines made with nebbiolo but not as main grape.

Edit: i forget a very important one! "Langhe Nebbiolo" same production area of Barolo and Barbaresco, usually is made with lesser quality nebbiolo but you can find some great wines. Gaja is surely the world famous Langhe Nebbiolo producer but not exacly cheap... 300€ bottle for his Langhe Nebbiolo (5 different cru). He can't call this wines as Barolo or Barbaresco just because he use a little % of barbera (5-9%) and that is  not possible with Barolo and Barbaresco.

Reply by dmcker, Mar 11, 2012.

Good post, Giacomo, thanks for all this info!

Reply by JonDerry, Mar 11, 2012.

Thanks Giac, never heard of those classifications (Valtellina Superiore, Sforzato di valtellina, Gattinara, Ghemme, and Carema), I don't think many of them make them out here in the states other than Barolo, Barbaresco, and Langhe, but i'll look out for them.

Another standout from the tasting was a 2009 Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. Achaval Ferrer Finca Altamira. Hedonistic in style with tons of blue/black fruit and enough acidic support, it was probably the consensus wine of the night, just edging out the Barbaresco.

A couple other italiain wines really disappointed. One was a 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva and a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon based Super Tuscan that some liked, though I didn't at all. I'll post the names later when I find my notes.

Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 11, 2012.

GdP pick for Valtellina Superiore. Mine for Sforzato di Valtellina

Reply by JonDerry, Mar 12, 2012.

Good look to link back GdP's article.

Looking back at my notes, the 06' Chianti Classico Riserva was from Arseno. Didn't have much personality or normal typicity, just a poor showing overall.

The Super Tuscan was a 2007 Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore (50% Cabernet Sauvignong, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc), a few people liked this wine, but I thought it was very average on the whole and didn't show anything remarkable, not even terroir.

Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 12, 2012.

Thanks for your advices keyon but for my pleasure i prefer my girlfriend and a good bottle of wine.

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