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by Battersea Store March 16, 2020 6 min read

Produttori del Barbaresco is a benchmark producer of Nebbiolo and one of the world’s great co-operative winemakers. Reformed in 1958 following decades of closure, the revived Cantina Sociale comprised 19 families who banded together to survive, making the first three vintages in a church basement before moving across the street to their current location. Today they are owned by 51 families and are the single most important producer of Nebbiolo in the world. Dedicated to making only Nebbiolo, the co-operative insists that if you sell them any grapes, then you must sell them all of your grapes – none can be kept back to make an own label or super cuvee. It means that this Barbaresco producer is a reference point for the style, and a beacon of value and quality.   The Riservas are only made in great years and when they decide to make them then all 9 of the cru sites are made separately. This is the 3rd consecutive release of these wines and it looks like they will be released in the next two years as well – this has never happened before. The Riservas are sourced from 9 classic sites within the Barbaresco village boundaries. This case includes one bottle of each of the Cru and comes in a beautiful, wooden presentation box.  Some will drink well young but most of these will improve with at least a couple of years in bottle.
 
'Once again, I thought it would be instructive to taste the Produttori's Riservas with a bit more time in bottle. I can't say my impression has changed too much from the last time I saw the wines, about three months prior. The warm growing season reduced the differences between the wines and blurred some site character, which is what often happens in years like this. At the same time, the heat also left the tannins with a bit of edginess, so these are not opulent wines that will drink well right out of the gate, but rather Barbarescos that need a bit of time in bottle to be at their best. Antonio Galloni – Vinous Media
 
The Range
Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 - Rose and wild berry aromas lead the way, while the palate offers ripe Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, star anise and a hint of iron. It's full bodied but accessible, thanks to pliant tannins and fresh acidity.
Wine Enthusiast – 90
Barbaresco DOCG 2016 - The 2016 Barbaresco is a stunning wine with tremendous richness for this bottling. Ample, deep and powerful, the 2016 exudes pedigree and class from start to finish. I can't remember a straight Barbaresco here with this much fruit density and unctuous richness, and yet there is more than enough tannin and overall structure to give the wine its classically leaning feel. A blast of sweet red cherry fruit, tobacco, menthol licorice and smoke hits the potent finish. What a wine!
Galloni – 94
Pora 2015 - close to the river Tanaro and low in altitude, the warm meso-climate gives this a softness and approachability and a rich, earthy substance to the finish. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Pora is just as radiant and seductive as it was a few months ago. Plush and sumptuous in the glass, the 2015 Pora captures all of the natural intensity of the year. Even with all of its lush fruit, the Pora has plenty of structural underpinnings beneath. Succulent dark cherry, plum, espresso, menthol and licorice notes flesh out in this forward, wonderfully inviting Riserva from the Produttori. In 2015, the Pora is a real overachiever. Best of all, it should drink well with minimal cellaring.
Galloni – 93
Pajé 2015- in the heart of the village, south-west facing amphitheatre, noted for its spice and tight, elegant structure and background of floral whispers. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Pajè is starting to shut down in bottle, but the signatures are still very much present, namely acidity and structure that give depth while also providing terrific balance to the generosity of the year. The Pajè was much more expressive when I tasted it a few months ago.
Galloni – 94 (Only available in the Collector Case)
Ovello 2015- the most northern vineyard at high elevation facing the river, this is a large cru with multiple exposures and facets. One of the stand outs in this range, the 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello shows the energy and tension that are so typical of this site, but with a slightly riper profile than is the norm. Then again, we are talking about 2015. Although perhaps not the most classic expression of Ovello, the Produttori's 2015 is very nicely done. Best of all, it will drink well with just a few more years in bottle. This is an especially heady, exotic Ovello Barbaresco that needs to shed some baby fat, its considerable appeal today notwithstanding.
Galloni – 95
Rio Sordo 2015 - also low altitude, but further away from the river than Pora with a southerly aspect. The limestone content gives this a soft, supple feel that is gorgeous in its youth. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is one of the more refined, delicate wines in this range. The wine's small-ish scale and open-knit feel make it easy to drink with minimal cellaring. Even so, the 2015 has good energy and impeccable overall balance. Spice, leather, cedar, tobacco and menthol add lovely aromatic top notes. It will be interesting to see how the 2015 develops over time. Galloni – 92
Asili 2015- one of Barbaresco's greatest sites, this faces southwest but is away from the river with warm days and cooler nights. A wine of impeccable presence and personality, these age spectacularly well. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Asili is an attractive wine with a good bit of the Asili plushness and silkiness that makes wines from this site so alluring. As with all of these wines, the Asili is not as expressive of site as it can be in cooler years.
Galloni – 94 (Only available in the Collector Case)
Rabajà 2015 - one of the most complete Barbarescos with a soil profile from west to east of increasing limestone, giving this wine magnificent complexity and richness. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is one of the most tannic and explosive of these wines, as it so often is. Even with the heat of the vintage, the tannic bite and energy of Rabajà come through loud and clear. In the early going, though, the Rabajà appears to be one of the wines in this range most adversely affected by its relatively recent bottling.
Galloni - 93
Muncagota 2015 - close to Paje but higher and facing southeast, this is extremely elegant and supple with pinpoint balance and a waft of characteristic mint. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota is sensual and super-expressive. I won't be surprised if it turns out to be one of the overachievers in this range. Like the Rio Sordo, the Muncagota is one of the more laid-back, mid-weight wines in the lineup, but what impresses most is a real sense of harmony. Silky and open-knit in feel, with lovely aromatic top notes, the Muncagota is so inviting today.
Galloni – 92
Montefico 2015 - a small site in the north of the village that faces due south, gathering warmth, but exposed to cool northern winds. This is bright and mineral Barbaresco that is highly sought after by aficionados. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Montefico is powerful, intense and very much wound up. Then again, we are talking about Montefico. It's hard not to think the 2015 will be a more complete and engaging wine in time. Today, though, energy and tension dominate. Time in the glass brings out hints of sweet red cherry, mint, tobacco, wild herbs and crushed flowers, all with supporting beams of Montefico tannin. The 2015 is going to need at least a few years to be at its best. Even when that happens, though, the Montefico will be a wine of vintage more than site.
Galloni - 93+
Montestefano 2015 - a limestone-rich site yielding abundant tannins, and a rich decadent profile thanks to its southern exposition. A monster in waiting and one of the last to be picked, it sometimes looks more like Barolo with loads of rose and liquorice complementing the deep-seated red fruits. Worth a few years in the cellar. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is one of the deeper, wines in this range. Ample, broad and creamy, the 2015 has a ton of richness and power on display. It is also one of the wines in this range where the personality and style of the vineyard are very much in evidence. A rush of black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice and spice build into the racy finish as this powerful, beautifully resonant Barbaresco shows all it's got.
Galloni - 94
 
Justin Knock MW
March 2020
 
If you would like to purchase the Produttori wines or for more information, please contact or call into any of our stores:
 
BATTERSEA
21 Northcote Road, London SW11 1NG
0207 924 4494
 
MARYLEBONE
22 New Quebec Street, London W1H 7SB
0207 402 0002

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