Thursday, January 14, 2010

Produttori del Barbaresco D.O.C.G. 2005

Who needs Barolo when Barbaresco can be this good – especially when Barolo is typically twice the price? That’s the question I asked myself after trying the Produtorri del Barbaresco D.O.C.G. 2005. As many of you know, Barbaresco and Barolo are both made in the Piedmont region of northern Italy from the Nebbiolo grape. The Barbaresco region is just a few miles to the northeast of its more famous neighbor, but with rare exceptions in the higher price ranges, its wines are not given the same critical acclaim and respect as those from Barolo. The Produttorri del Barabaresco 2005 is a rare exception in a not so high price range - at least comparatively. So even though I may still need Barolo once in awhile, it's a lot easier on the wallet to get my Nebbiolo fix with this great value Barbaresco.

In addition to the fact that this wine is surprisingly great, I am even more surprised by the fact that it is made by a large cooperative of growers. Usually the grower’s cooperatives lose their focus on quality, but in the case of this group of 56 growers farming over 250 acres of Nebbiolo vineyards in and around the village of Barbaresco, they have remained intensely focused on producing quality wine. In addition to this wonderful Barbaresco, the co-op also makes a basic Nebbiolo as well as a number of single vineyard Barbarescos.

Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes grown on hillsides at 650 to 1300 feet in elevations with clay soil filled streaked with limestone and calcium, this Barbaresco is aged for 20 months in oak casks. Mostly ruby red in color with just a little bit of brick to it, the wine is very pretty in your glass. The nose brings cherry fruit with notes of black raspberry along with a very nice earthy element and just a hint of pencil shavings. In your mouth you get a combination of black cherry and sour cherry fruit with a touch of spice. This medium bodied wine has very nice tannins that are just a bit chalky with nice acidity to balance things out. It’s drinking quite nicely now, but it has the structure to age at least another 5 years. It also has nice length to the finish.

I had this wine with Osso Bucco, and it was a heavenly pairing! It would also go very well with grilled game or a wild mushroom risotto. Retailing in the mid $20’s for a bottle, this Barbaresco is a steal. For similar quality Barolo made from the same Nebbiolo grape, you will pay twice as much. Lucky for us there were 17,000 cases made, so there should be plenty of this great wine for all!


No comments:

Post a Comment