October 31, 2020
Italian Wines

Discover Piedmont’s Hidden Treasure

The reawakening of traditionalism in Piemonte over the past two decades has revealed many secrets.

Even if the modernism produced a number of fine winemakers, none has surpassed the genius of such traditional giants. The modernist doctrine of short macerations and barrique aging has yet to produce Barolo or Barbaresco that will rival the best of the traditional school for purity of expression or longevity.

The Produttori del Barbaresco’s Single-Vineyard Riservas stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the region’s best

The Produttori’s Barbaresco normale is also one of Piemonte’s great traditional wines. And with 20 or 30 years of age, its nobility is extremely expressed.

They key always is always find in the raw materials.

The riservas—made only in great vintages—come from iconic vineyards. But a full 70 to 80 percent of what goes into the regular Barbaresco comes from vineyards at the same level of quality.

What About the Non-Riserva Vintages?

winemaking

In years when the single-vineyard wines are not made, the nine crus make up an average 60% of the normale blend.

They are complemented by major contributions from Bararsin, San Cristoforo, and Faset, plus smaller amounts of other crus.

Winemaking

Throughout its history, the Barbaresco normale has been aged exclusively in botti, not barrique.

Even today it spends 20-24 months in large barrels, compared to three years decades ago.

The Riservas

At the beginning (from 1958 to 1966), the Produttori made no single-cru wines. This was a reflection of the times, when blending was considered the surest way to create a complete wine from Nebbiolo.

The normale represents something else important. It is the great surviving example of blended Barbaresco—a legacy of a noble, but endangered, philosophy.

Conclusion

The Produttori Barbaresco normale has always been built to age. And it is one of Barbaresco’s greatest wines. Yet, it has been trapped in the shadow of the more prestigious Produttori riserva bottlings, as well as in the shadow of the Langhe’s more famous producers.

In fact, it’s really only a matter of time before the Produttori Barbaresco normale is collected and aged like the best of the the Langhe Old School. Which is just what it deserves.

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