Italy, Barbaresco

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Barbaresco is one of the great wines of the Piedmont region in north-western Italy. Historically it was called Nebbiolo di Barbaresco (Nebbiolo being the grape it's made from) and was used by the Austrian General Melas to celebrate his victory over the French in 1799. Only in the middle of the 19th century was the wine we know today vinified into a dry style. Its vineyards are situated in the Langhe, on the right-hand side of the Tanaro river and extending from the area north-east of Alba to the communes of Barbaresco, Nieve and Treiso, as well as San Rocco Senodelvio (once part of the Barbaresco municipality but now part of Alba). The dominant variety grown is Nebbiolo, but Dolcetto and Barbera also play a part. The vines are generally grown on limestone-rich marl soils.

Similar to its more famous sibling Barolo, Barbaresco is made from 100% Nebbiolo and shares its cult status as one of the finest wines in the world. However, there are several differences between the two. Barbaresco has a slightly maritime climate: warmer, drier and milder than its neighbour. This means its grapes tend to ripen earlier than those in Barolo. As a result, the wines are less tannic and more approachable at an earlier age. However, there is still plenty of acidity and tannins to make this an age-worthy red. Barbaresco is characterized by its rich, spicy flavours and perfumed sweetness and is considered more elegant and refined than its counterpart, which is a more robust and longer-lived red.
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  1. Ca'Del Baio Barbaresco 'Autinbej' 2015
    Winemakers Giulio and Luciana Grasso are extremely proud of their modern, 25 hectare estate, producing some very fine Barbaresco and a range of other wines that leave the competition struggling to catch up. The entire range has a sense of verve, ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
  2. Pietro Rinaldi Barbaresco Docg S.Cristoforo 2016
    The vineyard is located in the Municipality of Neive, San Cristoforo is an additional geographical mention, which identifies a cru of particular value. The exposure is south-east, with 360 degree rotation, typical of the apex of the Piedmont hills, called "Bricchi". ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
  3. Pietro Rinaldi Barbaresco Docg 'San Cristoforo' 2015
    The vineyard is located in the Municipality of Neive, San Cristoforo is an additional geographical mention, which identifies a crù of particular value. The exposure is to the south east, with a 360 degree rotation, typical of the apex of the ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  4. Ca'Del Baio Barbaresco 'Cru Asili' 2015
    Winemakers Giulio and Luciana Grasso are extremely proud of their modern, 25 hectare estate, producing some very fine Barbaresco and a range of other wines that leave the competition struggling to catch up. The entire range has a sense of verve, ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    Out of stock
  5. Produttori Del Barbaresco Barbaresco Docg 2013
    The 2013 is a tasty, easygoing Barbaresco to drink over the next decade or more. There is good depth in the glass, with pretty notes of tobacco, licorice, herb and worn-in leather that add nuance. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate and a ... Learn More
    pts
    Huon Hooke
    pts
    Gary Walsh
    Out of stock
  6. Cigliuti Barbaresco Vie Erte 2015
    An inviting Barbaresco from a high altitude site in Neive, brimful of dark fruit and spice. Dusty tannins surround a hearty core, with ample power and the concentration from a sunny vintage. The fruit is fermented and macerated in steel ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    Out of stock
  7. Bruno Rocca Barbaresco 2017
    2017 was, for many reasons, a rather particular and challenging vintage. Winter was mild and dry, and the growing season started early. Towards the end of April, the early buds in low-lying areas of Le Langhe were hit by frost. Luckily ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    Out of stock
  8. Ca'Del Baio Barbaresco 'Cru Pora' 2013
    Winemakers Giulio and Luciana Grasso are extremely proud of their modern, 25 hectare estate, producing some very fine Barbaresco and a range of other wines that leave the competition struggling to catch up. The entire range has a sense of verve, ... Learn More
    pts
    Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia
    Out of stock
  9. La Spinetta Barbaresco 'Bordini' 2017
    100% Nebbiolo from the Bordini site, 270m high in the village of Neive in the Barbaresco production zone. It's a four hectare south-facing site on calcareous soils, and the vines have an average age of between 26 and 29 years. The site is ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Monica Larner
    Out of stock
  10. Musso Pora Riserva Barbaresco 2015
    The Musso winery was founded in 1929 and coincides with one of the most critical moments of the Italian economy and the world, the year of the “Great Depression” Sebastiano Musso, born in 1906, did not lose heart. Valter Musso, a young ... Learn More
    pts
    Ian D'Agata
    pts
    Gary Walsh
  11. Musso Pora Riserva Barbaresco 2016
    The Musso winery was founded in 1929 and coincides with one of the most critical moments of the Italian economy and the world, the year of the “Great Depression” Sebastiano Musso, born in 1906, did not lose heart. Valter Musso, a young ... Learn More
    pts
    Ian D'Agata
    pts
    Gary Walsh
  12. Online Tasting Pack - North Italy Tasting Thursday 15th July 6:30pm aest

    Northern Italy is a unique region and home to some of the most famous Italian wines being sold outside of Italy. For this tasting we're going to focus on three grape varietals from this region; Arneis, Valpolicella and of ... Learn More

    Out of stock
  13. La Spinetta Barbaresco 'Cru Starderi' 2015
    Ideal with grilled food, sauced and elaborate red meat and wild game. ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
  14. La Spinetta Barbaresco Valeirano 2017
    Located in the town of Treiso lies the smallest of La Spinetta’s vineyards, with a mere three hectares. Valeirano is one of the most important crus, with vines aged 55 years old on average at an elevation of 380m. Soils ... Learn More
    pts
    Monica Larner
    pts
    James Suckling
  15. La Spinetta Barbaresco Starderi 2017
    Sourced from the Starderi cru site, 230m above sea level. Blue tinted calcareous marl with a small amount of clay. The southwest-facing vines have an average age of 55 years and are farmed sustainably, with no use of pesticides or herbicides. ... Learn More
    pts
    Monica Larner
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
  16. Gaja Barbaresco 2016
    "Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don't miss it." - 96 points Antonio Galloni, Vinous The Gaja estate calls 2016 “one of the greatest vintages we have ever ... Learn More
    Gaja Barbaresco 2016
    $420.00 Per item
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Robert Parker
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Wine Spectator
    Out of stock
  17. Gaja Costa Russi 2016
    A single vineyard acquired by the Gaja family in 1967. The name comes from the term "costa", the side of a hill facing the sun, and "Russi" a nickname of the previous owner. ... Learn More
    Gaja Costa Russi 2016
    $899.00 Per item
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Monica Larner
    Out of stock
  18. Gaja Sori Tildin 2016
    A vineyard acquired by the Gaja family in 1967, first produced as a single-vineyard wine in 1970. "Sorì" is a Piedmontese word for "hilltop with southern exposure" and "Tildìn" was a nickname of Clotilde Rey, Angelo Gaja's grandmother. ... Learn More
    Gaja Sori Tildin 2016
    $999.00 Per item
    pts
    Jancis Robinson MW
    pts
    Monica Larner
    Out of stock
  19. Gaja Sori San Lorenzo 2016
    This wine made history when it became one of the earliest single-vineyard bottlings of Nebbiolo in Piedmont with the 1967 vintage. Sourced from the GAJA winery’s top growing site, San Lorenzo, located just south of the village of Barbaresco in ... Learn More
    pts
    Antonio Galloni
    pts
    Monica Larner
    Out of stock
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