Above: Vineyards below the town of Barbaresco, May 2010, by wine writer, photographer, and VinoWire contributor, Tom Hyland.
Writing from Alba, where I am with several dozen wine journalists from around the world for Nebbiolo Prima, four days of tasting new releases of wines made exclusively from Nebbiolo. This year the wines are Roero Rosso 2007, Barbaresco 2007 and Barolo 2006. This post will deal with Barbaresco.
The 2007 vintage arrives with a great deal of hype and the Barbarescos from this vintage show why. The wines offer excellent ripeness and balance and round tannins. The best wines are quite charming and are rather forward. While all of this is nice, the final result is one of moderate pleasures, as the wines do not have the stuffing (for the most part) to age a substantial period of time. I would expect most of these wines to be at their best in 7-10 years, which is a good, but not great amount of time.
While the best wines from the town of Barbaresco and Treiso are beautifully balanced, unfortunately too many examples from Neive are over oaked. This is not the first time I have noticed this trend at this tasting (this is the sixth time in the last seven years I have participated in this event) and again, the winemakers from Neive, in my opinion, are trying to hard to make a bigger, more serious wine than they should. I did find a few bottliongs from Neive that were more restrained in their use of oak, but they were the exception. I would hope this changes in the future.
Here is a short list of my favorite 2007 Barbarescos:
Produttori del Barbaresco (normale)
Massimo Penna “Sori Sartu”
Eredi Lodali “Lorens” (Treiso)
Fratelli Grasso “Vallegrande” (Treiso)
Pertinace “Marcarini” (Treiso)
Cantina del Pino (Neive-Barbaresco)
Marchesi di Gresy “Martinenga” (Barbaresco)
Fratelli Giacosa “Basarin” (Neive)
Pasquale Pelissero “Bricco San Giuliano” (Neive)
The wines were tasted blind, so as always, there were surprises, good and bad.