Produttori del Barbaresco is a benchmark producer of Nebbiolo and one of the world’s great co-operative winemakers. Reformed in 1958 following decades, 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 also 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.
Pora - 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 - 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
Ovello - 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 - 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 - 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
Rabajà - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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
- Size: 750ml x 9 bottles
- Vintage: 2015
- Origin: Barbaresco / Piemonte / Italy
- Grapes: Nebbiolo