Thursday, August 27, 2009

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG (2003) Piemonte

A quality, affordable Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco. Produttori del Barbaresco is a large cooperative that was founded in 1958 which sources grapes from a growers association that dates back to 1894. At that time in Barbaresco, Nebbiolo grapes were either sold to make Barolo or simply labeled Nebbiolo. Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident understood that there were differences between Nebbiolo grapes grown in the Barolo district as those grown in the Barbaresco district so he created a cooperative known as the "Cantine Sociali" to produce a wine that identified Barbaresco as its place of origin on the label. The "Cantine Sociali" was forced to close in the 1920's because of fascist rule, but in 1958, nineteen small Nebbiolo growers again came together to form the Produttori del Barbaresco cooperative. The cooperative currently has 56 members and 250 acres of Nebbiolo vineyards in the Barbaresco appellation, which amounts to almost 1/6 of the vineyards of the area; each member being in full control of its land. They produce a Barbaresco DOCG; a blend of Nebbiolo grapes harvested from different vineyards, and a simpler Nebbiolo Langhe suited for earlier consumption. In great vintages, nine single-vineyard Barbaresco’s are produced from premium sites within the Barbaresco village boundaries. The cooperative produces around 420,000 bottles (35,000 cases) per year. In those great vintages, they are divided among Barbaresco (40%), single vineyard Barbaresco’s (40%) and Nebbiolo Langhe (20%). 2003 was a hot summer in Piemonte, so the wine does not have a particularly tannic bite that requires long aging. Nice, fragrant nose of black cherry and spices. Soft tannins. Aged for 20 months in oak casks. Very drinkable as a young wine. Widely distributed, so it’s a wine that's easy to obtain. Albeisa bottle.

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