It finally happened—the world has awakened to one of its greatest wine treasures, the Produttori del Barbaresco. Since 1958, the Produttori has been the reference point for classic Barbaresco. And since their launching in 1967, the Produttori’s Riservas have been the defining expressions of Rabajà, Asili, Ovello and Barbaresco’s other noble vineyards.
The Produttori was founded in the crushing poverty of the 1950s, when the parish priest organized 19 struggling growers to make wine communally. With time, the Produttori grew to about sixty members—owning the lion’s share of the greatest vineyards.
Even today, many of Barbaresco’s best growers are members, occupying the greatest sites and pooling their fruit. In lesser years, only one wine is made, but in great vintages, up to ten magical Barbarescos can be made: the often astonishing flagship Barbaresco plus nine single-cru Riservas.
The Produttori still uses traditional methods: an 18 to 21-day primary fermentation with aging for up to three years in botti. Such techniques yield gloriously transparent wines, affording a unique opportunity to explore the region’s finest terroirs.
Though one of Piedmont’s greatest producers, the Produttori has long lived in the shadow of more famous names like Giacosa and Gaja. It was not until recently, thanks to the outspoken advocacy of critics like Antonio Galloni and John Gilman, and merchants like ourselves, that the Produttori is getting the attention it deserves in the U.S.
The Produttori’s nine crus or vineyards lie on steep slopes composed of the classic firm clay and limestone marl of the Langhe. Those from the northernmost chain of hills—Ovello, Montefico and Montestefano–have a higher clay content and are known for their rich earthy, meaty flavors, full body and firm structure.
To the south are Pajé and Moccagatta, noted for their intensity and elegance. Still further south is perhaps Barbaresco’s greatest slope, boasting the southfacing Asili, Rabajà and Pora. Below these three icons is the solitary southwest-facing slope of Rio Sordo, whose opulent Barbaresco exudes aromas of black cherry and truffle.
In each vintage, the juice from these crus is blended to produce a single Barbaresco which is one of the great wine values not only of Italy, but the world. But in great years, part of the production of each vineyard is set aside for an additional year of aging and for separate bottling as a single-vineyard Riserva. When these Riservas are made, they constitute the quintessential examples of Barbaresco’s greatest terroirs.
|1995||1995 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montestefano Riserva 1.5 L||1.5 L||1||$225.00||add|
|2011||2011 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montestefano Riserva 1.5 L||1.5 L||AG94 /
|2000||2000 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 1.5 L||1.5 L||2||$225.00||add|
|2009||2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 1.5 L||1.5 L||AG94+||1||$185.00||add|
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