Very few wine cooperatives have reached the level of acclaim or impacted the world of wine more than the Produttori del Barbaresco. With various roots tracing back to the late 1800’s, this organization along with Angelo Gaja, played a major role in the creation of Barbaresco as a region apart from but equally important as Barolo. Made up of 51 members overseeing approximately 100 hectacres of vineyards, the Produttori offers some of the most delicious, interesting, and well-priced Barbarescos on the market today and we have some of those wines currently available.
Every year the co-op releases two wines – a Barbaresco which is an assemblage of grapes from all of its member’s mature vines located within the DOCG as well as a release of its Langhe Nebbiolo which is also sourced entirely from it’s member’s vineyards but is composed of fruit from younger vines making this cru more approachable for earlier drinking. Only in truly exceptional years does the Produttori del Barbaresco release single-vineyard riservas. Fortunately for us, 2013 was one of those years and fortunately for you, we didn’t keep them all for ourselves.
These single-vineyards are located on two ridges of rolling hills which surround the village of Barbaresco – one moving from northwest to southeast just south of the village and the other chain moving from south to north just east of the village. These ridges undulate radically, giving the vineyards varying aspects and therefore different flavor profiles (if you’d like to read more about the impact of aspects on the flavor of wine, check out the blog post on Chablis). The complexity of this region and the factors impacting it’s wines doesn’t stop there however. The hills vary in limestone, clay, and calcium content which greatly impact the structure and aromatics of the wine as does altitude and the proximity of the vineyards to the Tanaro River.
Generally, the vineyards of the southern chain of hills, such as Pora and Rio Sordo, make wines which are lighter, more aromatic, and are ready to drink earlier due to less calcium in the soils; Asili also fits in to this catagory but it’s tannin profile is a bit more elevated and can use a couple more years in the bottle. The wines from Rabajà – where the ridges meet – express the quintessential character of Barbaresco, balancing persistent tannins and high acidity while exhibiting the iconic tar and roses profile so emblematic of the Nebbiolo grape. Pajè, the vineyard lowest in altitude is significantly impacted by the river, attaining higher acidity levels while showcasing a dominant tannin structure. Moving up the chain of hills east of the village the soil becomes less fertile with more calcium and clay creating a more noteworthy tannin structure. Muncagota balances it’s structure with floral notes and focused fruit. Montestefano is meaty and full-bodied with intense tannins while Montefico exhibits a snap minerality. Ovello, one of the first single-vineyards ever released by the Produttori in 1967, marries a strong fruit component with fierce tannins.
Of course all of these single-crus are highly cellarable and sought after. Aldo Vacca, the director of the Produttori Del Barbaresco puts the optimum drinking window for these wines at 8-12 years. I should also note that the 2014 vintage, while considered to be subpar for much of Europe, was an outstanding vintage in Barbaresco, so expect to see that vintage next year when it is released. The only downside to all this is that since the Produttori does not buy fruit from outside its member’s vineyards, in these great vintages, there is less fruit to channel into their basic Barbaresco and more affordable offering. We fully expect these wines to move fast so if you’re interested in picking some up, don’t hesitate for too long.
Produttori Del Barbaresco, Langhe Nebbiolo, 2013, $27.99
Produttori Del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Rio Sordo”, 2013, $71.99
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Rabaja”, 2013, $71.99
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Pajè”, 2013, $71.99
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Ovello”, 2013, $71.99
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Montefico”, 2013, $71.99
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco “Montestefano”, 2013, $71.99
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you around the shop soon,