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“Barbaresco may have gotten its revenge in 2011.”Antonio Galloni
Though Barbaresco and Barolo are just a few kilometers apart, never assume their vintage charts are exactly the same. Barolo had its moment in the sun in 2010. But as Antonio Galloni wrote, “Barbaresco may have gotten its revenge in 2011.”
Harvested in 2011 about two weeks earlier than Barolo, Barbaresco enjoyed the fruits of a very warm summer but without the heat of an even warmer October. This produced Barbarescos of great richness, but with no excess alcohol or weight. The 2011s have the kind of balance that growers are lucky to see once every decade or so.
The best measure of the vintage’s greatness is the soaring consistency of the Produttori del Barbaresco’s nine single-vineyard Riservas. Even the lowest-rated wine, Montestefano, was accorded 94 points by The Wine Advocate. And Rio Sordo, a cru seldom talked about, got a whopping 96 points from the same publication.
The remaining seven crus were all rated between 94+ and 96. That’s Vintage of the Century stuff!
But the Produttori’s success in 2011 might have gone unnoticed by the general public had it not been for Asili being voted the No. 5 Wine of the Year by the Wine Spectator. This is the first time a Produttori riserva has ever made it into the Top 100, let alone as high as the No. 5 spot.
And the reality is that every one of the Produttori’s 2011 crus was equally worthy of that distinction.
But the riservas don’t tell the whole story. That tale is told by the Produttori’s flagship wine, the Barbaresco normale.
A prodigious blend of all of the Produttori’s Nebbiolo vineyards, it is the perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. In 2011, the Barbaresco normale displays all of the vintage’s charms—its richness, sweetness, silky texture and wonderful perfume, with no heaviness.
Made from many of the same vineyards as the riservas, it always offers astonishing value and pleasure. But 2011 takes it up a notch, giving us a wine of true seduction.
If you have a case of bottles in your cellar, you’ll want to hang on to at least a few of them for another 10 to 20 years. And if you’re lucky enough to own large formats, and don’t drink them all over the next few years, you can leave them to your children!
But not all of us were lucky enough to snag big bottles when they came out three years ago. If this is you, consider this your lucky day. We have just scored a fantastic, pristine parcel of 3-liter bottles of 2011 Produttori Barbaresco. This is a gift for lovers of traditionally made Nebbiolo. You won’t want to miss it.
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