Today’s Story: Produttori del Barbaresco
Produttori del Barbaresco was established in 1958 when, during widespread poverty of the 1950s, a priest in the village of Barbaresco gathered 19 small Nebbiolo growers to pool their resources/fruit and produce wine together to survive. For the first three vintages, the group made their wine in the church basement until they built a winery across the town square where Produttori del Barbaresco is still located. Today, the Produttori consists of 51 members and controls over 100 hectares of vineyards planted entirely to Nebbiolo to craft only Barbaresco D.O.C.G. and a more approachable Nebbiolo Langhe. Though each family is in complete control of their land, when it is time to come together in the cellar the wines are made using traditional methods including 18-21 day primary fermentation and aging in botti for up to three years. In exceptional vintages, the Produttori produces 9 single-vineyard Barbaresco wines from the remarkable Asili, Rabajà, Pora, Montestefano, Ovello, Pajè, Montefico, Muncagota, and Rio Sordo crus. The cooperative’s total annual output is roughly 45,000 cases of which 50% are Barbaresco, 30% are single-cru, and 20% are Nebbiolo Langhe.
Produttori del Barbaresco vineyards range from 600-1,300 feet above sea level on steep hills and consist largely of clay and limestone marl with veins of sand. The land varies greatly due not only to its size and varying microclimates, but also in terms of various crus such as how Ovello, Montefico, and Montestefano having higher clay content. The distinct personalities of the fruit from each cru blend together into the final wine to beautifully marry some of Barbaresco’s greatest vineyards in an unusual and honest representation of the terroir. To learn more about the individual crus and browse a gallery of the vineyards, check out the Produttori website here.
Today’s Wine: 2016 Barbaresco
100% Nebbiolo; 14.5% ABV
The 2016 Barbaresco is deep garnet in color and slightly transparent. I decanted this for 3.5 hours and drank it over the following 2. The nose showcases aromas of black cherry, dried raspberry, blood orange, licorice, rose petal, violet, dry tobacco, loamy earth, damp cellar, tar, hay, dried herbs, and cedar. There is a touch of heat as well. Once on the palate, the wine displays notes of black cherry, raspberry, cranberry, red rose, dried leather, clay, ground peppercorn, pipe tobacco, asphalt, and smoke. This is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, grippy medium (+) tannins, and a medium (+) length finish. Certainly approachable with a good deal of decanting, but this needs another 5-7 years in bottle.
Price: $40. Crazy, crazy good value and a wine I cannot count how many times I recommended to friends and family. Often overshadowed by Barolo (though that seems to be changing) Barbaresco is another wine made from Nebbiolo you need to try and this is one of the great producers. Pair this with wild duck, veal chop, or filet mignon.