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. Some will drink well young but most of these will improve with at least a couple of years in bottle.
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 2017 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is a potent, savory wine. Today, the fruit is very much in the background. A brooding, backward Barbaresco, the Montestefano clearly needs time, it is a somber, imposing Barbaresco. Dark plum, earthiness, cloves, menthol and licorice infuse the finish with notable gravitas. There's plenty of Montestefano breadth and resonance. 93+pts. Antonio Galloni, Vinous