Tag Archives: Produttori del Barbaresco

Four decades of Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco @sostacucina: my take on the wines….

The line up of Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco.
The line up of Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco.

The Produttori del Barbaresco has a long and distinguished history and great wines have always been made here. Prior to 1894, Nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo wine or simply labelled ‘Nebbiolo di Barbaresco’. But in 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the ‘Cantine Sociali’, by gathering nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. Cavazza understood that Nebbiolo from Barbaresco differed from Barolo and, for the first time, recognized it on the wine label.

The ‘Cantine Sociali’ was forced to close in the 1920’s because of fascist economic rules. In 1958, the priest of the village of Barbaresco, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, and then in the winery built across the square from where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, producing only Barbaresco wine and enhancing both the reputation of the wine and the village.

The Produttori del Barbaresco now has 56 members and 100 hectares (250 acres) of Nebbiolo vineyards in the Barbaresco appellation, which amounts to almost a sixth of the vineyards of the area.

Last week, myself and twelve other Italian wine lovers got together at Sosta Cucina for a memorable meal looking at four decades of Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco (we were looking at just the standard, not the cru’s) going back to 1968. The wines showed unbelievably well, better than one could ever expert and matched with some fine Italian food from Maurice at Sosta Cucina, it was definitely a night to remember.

If I took only one thing out of this dinner (and this is the reason why I do them), it is the Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco needs decades not years to enter their optimum drinking windows. Apart from a couple of vintages, the wines showed to be able to handle ten to twenty years in canter.

Even though I represent some of the best Italian wineries in Australia (note I do not represent PdB), great bottles of PdB always puts a big smile on my face and the aim of this dinner was to show that people that ignore the standard bottles are missing a big part of what makes Barbaresco so great. Sometimes the sum of all parts are better then individual components. People should be not just be buying the cru’s but also buying the standard PdB and this is a wine that I would buy in bulk every year. Whilst 6 bottles is enough of one wine for my cellar. It is the standard PdB that is one of the few wines that I buy in 12 bottle lots.

Below are my brief notes on the wine. With old bottles, it really comes down to the condition of the cork which has the biggest influence. For example, I have had the ’79 twice in the last two months. This bottle did not show well but the previous bottle was sublime. However, a good cork and a good bottle makes a match made in heaven.

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WINES ON THE NIGHT:

1968: still fragrant and tannic. Still looks and tastes quite youthful.

1971: very minerally and intense. Some thought there was brett in this wine. I didn’t think so. Looks very good.

1979: not a good bottle, lot’s of iodine and slightly oxidised.

1982: fantastic, youthful, still quite primary. Unforced and pure.

1985: – MAGNUM: wow!!! wow!!! Length and tannins. Pristine fruit. So long and fresh. Almost the perfect bottle of aged Barbaresco.

1986: really good, not as good as 82 and 85 but still very impressive. In it’s prime at the moment.

1989: high VA. Disolved tannins and fruit.

1991: not as advanced in development as 89 but will head long the same lines.

1992: amazing, one of the best PdB Barbaresco I have ever had. Pure perfection and like the 85 this is as good as it get’s for aged Barbaresco.

1993: not a great bottle. Showing it’s age.

1994: quite shy and unvolved. Needs time but is going to be a ripper.

1995: fantastic wine. Beautiful and still with seemingly decades in front of it

1998: powerful and primary. Still youthful. Just shows PdB needs not years but decades to be at their prime.

2004: Another great bottle. Again still primary but classic Nebbiolo with lot’s of roses and tar and fantastic tannins and acidity.

2006: Bloody good. Decades in front of it. Like the 2004 this is a wine that will live for another 20-30 years. Not no cur’s were made in 2006 and all the single cru’s were blended back into the standard.

2008: A very good Barbaresco year and a very good wine. A long life in front of it.

2010: buy, buy, buy!!! I would be loading up on 2010. Like 2006, all the single cru’s were blended back in. This is already good, but will head towards greatness over the next three decades.

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The crazy month of September…

Our new wine store for Boccaccio.
Our new wine store for Boccaccio.

September has been a crazy month. I can’t remember anything like it so I apoligise for the short break in blogging. Lots have been happening: new shipments from our favourite producers like Roagna, Fatalone, Lucarelli and Passopisciaro and a massive amount of building works going on. So good but so crazy.

Our new underground bakery for Boccaccio Continental Supermarket nearly ready.
Our new underground bakery for Boccaccio Continental Supermarket nearly ready.

Whilst our new wine store will be ready in the month, most of the cosmetic changes for our Continental supermarket won’t be seen visually until early next year. Over the last couple of months we have been building a new underground bakery for our Italian bakers and it will be double the current space they operate in. Needless to say, moving a three tonne oven originally shipped from Verona had it’s challenges. Just fitting it through the door (see above) took a day and our technicians are installing it as we speak. It all should be operational by mid next week.

On the importing front, lot’s of awesome stuff has landed. Think the new 2012 Etna Rosso from Passopisciaro has just landed and already snapped up by the best wine stores and restaurants in Oz and the demand for these wines is now crazy and it has been a great five years building up the goodwill for Passopisciaro in Australia.

Next week things will quieten down a touch and I look forward to hosting a private dinner looking at four decades of the standard Produttori del Barbaresco at Sosta Cucina next Thursday. Notes will be posted here later in the week.

Fantastic interview with Aldo Vacca on why no 2010 Single Cru’s were made..

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2010
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2010

Last night I drank a bottle of the 2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco and loved it. So feminine and perfumed, it is a great wine to drink now and over the next decade.

With such a classic vintage of Barbaresco in 2010, it got my mind thinking why no 2010 Single Cru’s were made by Produttori.

Well listen to the answer from Aldo Vacca courtesy of James Suckling:

http://www.jamessuckling.com/barbaresco-2010-produttori-del-barbaresco.html

A visit to Produttori del Barbaresco in Barbaresco…

The Langhe in Winter

Whilst today did not snow, there was a distinct chill in the air and many in the Langhe think it could snow this week. As a type this post, there is loud thunder and threatening clouds in the horizon. It is a good night to be in with my laptop, glass of Barolo and a plate of truffle risotto by my side.

Red Jeans and The Red Wine of the Langhe.

Today I went to Barbaresco to the cellars of Produttori del Barbaresco to meet with Aldo Vacca and try some of my favourite Barbaresco. Whilst I do not import Produttori it is a winery that I always make an appointment and visit when I am in the Langhe. I have a deep rooted respect for the way this coperative does business and treats their growers. It reflects in all the quality of their wines.

The famous label of Produttori del Barbaresco

The most facinating aspect of todays’ visit was a tour of the new cellar by Aldo’s assistant Luca who is himself a grower in Ovello. The new cellar was spotless and at a cost of $4.4 million Euro’s it is money well spend as I can see that the new set up will (if it is possible) raise the quality of the wines of Produttori.

2011 Montestefano Cru in tank

Whilst I did not try as many wines as I would have liked (time constraint), it was good to try the 2008 Barbaresco which to me is already drinking amazingly well, even after only being on the market in Italy for the past month. Whilst I think the 2006 and 2007 is a better wine for the cellar, the 2008 is almost ready to drink now and should hold this line and length for many years to come.

Tomorrow I head back to Barbaresco to visit the cellars of Gaja and meet Gaia Gaja.

Five Decades of Barolo & Barbaresco Dinner: Friday 9th March 2012

Late last year I was approached to organize an Italian dinner featuring some old and great bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco from decades past. Getting the wine was not a problem, as in Italy, there are still many cellars with access to these great bottles. However, buying old bottles does not always guarantee success and it is as much about the cork as it is about vintages, producers, etc.

However on Friday night. The goddess of Italian wine was definitely shining on us, with some of the best examples of aged Barolo and Barbaresco I have drunk in my lifetime. Also Scopri as always did a fantastic job with the food.

Here are my thoughts on the wine:

Zeppole Al Formaggio

Ca’ Del Bosco Franciacorta ‘Anna Maria Clementi’ 2001

Lovely well rounded palate. Someone made the comment of lemon sherbet and it is probably the perfect description for the wine. Also fennel/anice, bright acidity and fantastic length. Years ahead of it.

Quaglia Arrostita con fichi in pancetta

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 1941

An old wine, just a shell of it’s past but still distinctly Nebbiolo. Fantastic nose, still vibrant and alive.

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 1952

Lovely wine, still amazing, still living, breathtaking palate that ticks all the boxes when it comes to Barolo. Roses, violets, vibrant acidity. Incredible.


Spiedini di cervo con marmelata di cipolla rossa

Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1955

Again still alive, lovely fragrance and length. Amazing acidity.

Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1962

Great length, amazing palate. Wow!! Still so young an vibrant. Colour still scream Nebbiolo.

Risotto al radicchio, vino rosso e provola

Mario Minuto fu Giovanni Barbaresco Riserva ‘Fascetto’ 1964

Lovely feminine wine. Still some primary fruit with fantastic texture and length.

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Canale 1967 (released for Alba Truffle Festival 1976

Hints of caramel, mocha, acidity. It is old in age but still plenty of years left in it.

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva ‘Rabaya’ 1967

Perfumed and fragrant, the palate still has amazing length and character.

Tagliatelle al ragu leggero di vitello

Produttori del Barbaresco Riserva Ovello 1970

First bottle corked, second bottle not as complex as previous bottles. Balanced but without any drive or complexity.

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1976

Initially amazing, so balanced and complete. Layers upon layers of fruit. However, within 5-10 minutes this wine really died in the glass to leave just a shell. Drink quickly!!

Brasato di agnello al Barolo

Borgogono Barolo Riserva 1976

Dirty wine, milky and unpolished. Almost like the fruit and tannins have been melted together. However a wine a like. Love richness of fruit.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1986

Sound wine, but not my style. Old school, a touch simple and outclassed in tonight’s’ line up.

Testun di Barolo

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1974

Corked.

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 1974 (Jeroboam)

Awesome, still years ahead of it. Deep colour, vibrant palate, in the prim of it’s life. This is why I love Produttori so much.

Crostatina ai frutti di bosco

Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2011 (Magnum)

This has really settled down in the last few months. Intense, not overly rich but it has amazing drive through the palate. Great way to finish the night.

Overall it was an amazing night and I was so happy with the way the wines look. A dozen great bottles drunk with a dozen fantastic people at one of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants. Pretty hard to beat.

Vecchia Barolo and Barbaresco dinner at Scopri this Friday night….

In a few days time, a group of twelve Italian wine lovers will head to Scopri to try some of Italy’s great producers stretching back to 1941. Over the last couple of years I have access to some pretty amazing bottles of Barolo and Barbaresco and it will be good to showcase these wines in one sitting.

This is the line up of wines on the night:

2001 Ca Del Bosco Anna Maria on arrival.

Bracket One 

MONFORTINO 1941 G.CONTERNO

MONFORTINO 1952 G.CONTERNO

Bracket Two

BAROLO 1955 RISERVA G.BORGOGNO

BAROLO 1962 RISERVA G.BORGOGNO

Bracket Three

BARBARESCO 64 RIS. FASCETTO MINUTO

BARBARESCO 67 RIS.RABAYA’ PRODUT.

BARBARESCO 70 RIS. OVELLO PRODUT.

Bracket Four

BARBARESCO 1974 PRODUTTORI

BARBARESCO 1974 JEROBOAM PRODUT.

Bracket Five

BAROLO 1976 RISERVA G.BORGOGNO

BARBARESCO 1976 BRUNO GIACOSA BAROLO

1986 BRUNATE CERETTO

To finish:

PAOLO SARACO MOSCATO D’ASTI 2011 (Out of Magnum)

It should be a great night and fingers crossed that all the wines look good. It will be fascinating to see Monfortino at seventy years of age. Same goes with the number of back vintage Produttori and Borgogno. Each flight will be matched with a dish and knowing how good the team at Scorpi are, it should be a match made in heaven.

On Sunday, I will give a full wrap of the wines and the night.