Barbaresco Bricco Libero 2004 Varaldo

I have always liked Varaldo’s Barbaresco. Its wines are well-made, honest, and enjoyable, soft and round without being too fruit forward. Although they are moderately modern (rotary fermenters are used in the winery), Varaldo’s wines remain a true expression of Nebbiolo and the terroir of Barbaresco. Usually I prefer the winery’s other cru, the Bricco Loreto, which is aged exclusively in botti, traditional large Slavonian-oak casks, but when I tasted the two side-by-side recently in London, I preferred the Libero – of which 30% is aged for 24 months in Allier barriques.


The nose is not perfectly clean, with some wild game and meat notes. In the mouth much better, very large, consistent, with great structure, good balance of solid tannins, fruit and alcohol. Lively acidity. Still very young with good aging potential.

It may be a modern Barbaresco but it is a true Barbaresco nonetheless.

— Franco Ziliani