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Piemonte Barbaresco

Italië - Piemonte

BARBARESCO

( by Vinous )

 

JaargangScoreDrinkbaarheid
   

2017

88

Drink

 The 2017s are light in structure, body and overall intensity across the board. There are a few highlights, but this is a vintage to approach with a great deal of selection. Barbaresco endured a brutal growing season in 2017. A warm spring and ensuing early precocious budbreak left the vines vulnerable when hail arrived on April 15. A few weeks later, Barbaresco was caught by the same wave of frost that affected other regions in Europe. The combined effects of these two events (and a second, less severe hail storm) were devastating, especially in Neive, were production is down between 30-100% in the hardest hit areas. (10/20, AG) 
   

2016

98

Hold

 The young 2016 Barbarescos are some of the most compelling young wines I have tasted in twenty years of visiting the region. A benign growing season with no shocks gave producers the ideal conditions to make stunning wines, and many of them did. It’s pretty hard to go wrong, especially among quality-minded growers. The 2016s are aromatically intense, deep and incredibly structured, with strong site signatures and tons of character. My advice for consumers is simple: buy as much 2016 Barbaresco as you can. Quality is extraordinary for so many wines, while the market seems to be more focused on Barolo than Barbaresco. It’s a great opportunity. Unfortunately, 2017 and 2018 are going to require far more selection. (10/20, AG) 
   

2015

94

Hold

 Broadly speaking, the 2015s are generous Barbarescos with soft curves and a good bit of fruit intensity, but they aren’t overdone. The finest 2015s are rich, ample and giving, with perhaps just a touch less site-specific detail than in cooler years. As always, there are also some disappointments where hot weather appears to have blocked ripening. Overall, though, 2015 is a terrific vintage for Barbaresco. (02/19, AG) 
   

2014

95

Drink or Hold

 A cold, late-ripening season with ideal Fall weather produced taut, mid-weight Barbarescos endowed with striking aromatic presence, finely sculpted fruit and lively acidity, all of which give the wines considerable energy. Barbaresco did not suffer the hail that was so problematic in Barolo. Two thousand fourteen is shaping up to be an exciting vintage for Barbaresco. It is a vintage that will especially appeal to classically leaning palates. (10/20, AG) 
   

2013

95+

Drink or Hold

 A cool growing season and late harvest yielded perfumed, aromatic Barbarescos with notable freshness and striking site-specific signatures. The wines I have tasted so far point to a brilliant vintage of classically built wines that will reward cellaring. (10/20, AG) 
   

2012

90

Drink

 A vintage of slender, mid-weight wines with lovely radiance and open-knit fruit. The 2012s should drink well with minimal cellaring. (10/20, AG) 
   

2011

94+

Drink

 The 2011 Barbarescos have turned out beautifully. Racy and pliant, the best 2011s are gorgeous and will drink well early. The warm, dry growing season gave the 2011 Barbarescos a touch more body and overall intensity without robbing the wines of their essential personalities. This is a superb vintage for Barbaresco and a rare vintage in which Barbaresco outperforms neighboring Barolo. (10/20, AG) 
   

2010

89

Drink

 Although there are a few exceptions, but 2010 in Barbaresco does not reach the heights of 2010 in Barolo, as the wines are inconsistent across the board. I tasted everything from powerful, structured wines to thin, diluted efforts with little complexity or pedigree. Treiso is the undisputed star of Barbaresco’s 2010 vintage. The wines are aromatically expressive, layered and spiced, with fabulous balance and class. A number of the village’s top producers made some of their best wines ever. The growing season was long and cold, but it was rain near harvest time that complicated things. A number of producers did not bottle their top wines, including the Produttori del Barbaresco - who did not make their Riservas - Castello di Neive and Cortese. Ceretto suffered damage from hail in Asili, so they were not able to make their flagship Barbaresco Bricco Asili. Bruno Giacosa took the highly unusual step of skipping the vintage entirely. (10/20/AG) 
   

2009

88

Drink

 A vintage of mostly variable wines that are built for near and medium-term drinking. The 2009 growing season was characterized by a snowy winter and wet spring with unseasonably cool weather. Temperatures heated up in June. A protracted heat wave set in during the middle of August. The heat was stifling to the point some plants shut down, leaving the stems and grapes with tannins that never fully ripened. The overall maturation cycle in 2009 was also a bit shorter than optimal. Many wines lack color (even for Nebbiolo) and freshness. There are of course exceptions, but they are very much exceptions. (10/20, AG) 
   

2008

93

Drink

 It is truly a winemaker’s vintage in which the skill of the individual producer is much more important than the quality of the vintage itself. The 2008 Barbarescos are medium in body, with excellent length, focus and cut. It is a relatively high-acidity vintage that producers like to refer to as ‘classic.’ Overall 2008 is an inconsistent vintage, even among the best producers. The year got off to a late start with a delayed flowering. The spring and summer were cool, which meant the vines had to be treated more aggressively than normal. The Nebbiolo harvest took place in late September through mid October under difficult conditions that included rain at several critical points. The best wines show fine balance, but overall this is an average to slightly above average year with a handful of overachievers, but a larger number of so-so wines. What is missing is depth of fruit and full-development of aromatics and flavor. Today, most of the 2008s don’t appear to have the structure to age for more than 10-15 years, give or take. (10/20, AG) 
   

2007

96

Drink

 The 2007 Barbarescos possess dazzling aromatics, silky tannins and generous, at times explosive, fruit. Although 2007 was a warm year, temperatures were remarkably stable throughout most of the summer, which allowed for full ripening, even in less well-exposed vineyards. As a result, many entry-level Barbarescos are unusually delicious. One of the defining characteristics of the vintage is that the differences from vineyard to vineyard are more attenuated in 2007 than they were in more typical, cooler years such as 2001 and 2004. Because of the unusually warm weather in the spring, the entire growing season was moved up in the calendar, but the cycle from flowering to harvest turned out to be close to normal. These conditions resulted in wines that combine elements of warm and cool vintages to an extent I have never seen previously. (10/20, AG) 
   

2006

88

Drink

 A mixed vintage of uneven quality. Overall 2006 was a hot year, yet rain and hail during the harvest caused growers headaches at the most critical part of the season. The best wines are clearly outstanding, even if they can’t match the 2004s or 2005s for consistency, complexity, or ageability. For the most part, these are pretty, mid-weight Barbarescos suited for near-term drinking. 
   

2005

93

Drink

 A cool vintage of wines that have aged well while retaining a nervous edge. A major storm system forced growers to either pick ahead of the rain or risk waiting it out. Much of the fruit was brought in early, with slightly underripe tannins that have helped the wines retain a good measure of freshness. This is a solid vintage for drinking now and over the next decade. (10/20, AG) 
   

2004

94

Drink

 A cool, late-ripening year produced refined, exquisite Barbarescos of notable class. Yields were very high, which required considerable green harvesting in the field, something only the most diligent growers carried out. Today, most 2004 Barbarescos are in or approaching the early part of their plateau of maturity. The best 2004 Barbarescos are wonderfully complete, with the sweetness of the 2000s and the greater aromatic complexity, detail and finesse of the 2001s. 
   

2003

88

Drink

 The wines from this torrid vintage are now mature or close to it and need to be drunk. Piedmont saw 40 days of uninterrupted blistering temperatures during the summer with no rain or respite of any kind. Just as importantly, the diurnal shifts that are so critical for the full development of color, perfume and tannins were nowhere to be found. Bruno Giacosa told me 2003 was the hottest vintage since 1947. The hot, dry conditions also resulted in the earliest harvest on record, with the Nebbiolos being picked in mid-to-late September, a good two to three weeks earlier than normal. The most successful wines come from cooler microclimates where the fruit was somewhat protected from the worst of the scorching sun or specific vineyards where the plants had at least some access to water because of older vines with deeper roots and/or more compact, moisture retentive soils. 
   

2002

72

Drink

 A cold, rainy year. Barbaresco did not get hammered with the hail that crushed Barolo, but very few producers chose to bottle their top wines. 
   

2001

95

Drink

 A strong vintage in Barbaresco. The wines are aromatic, precise and delineated, all signatures of a vintage with warm days, cool nights and an overall classic profile. The 2001s can be enjoyed now, while the best wines will continue to drink well for many years. (10/20, AG) 
   

2000

94

Drink

 A warm growing season yielded open-knit, supple Barbarescos. The 2000s are in an ideal spot to enjoy today. Only a handful of wines have the freshness and pedigree to age. The 2000 vintage was defined by very hot, dry weather during the entire year, leading up to the harvest, which was also carried out under warmer than usual temperatures. A hot summer is not necessarily a bad thing for Nebbiolo, which can be a tricky grape to ripen. But, as the old saying goes, it is the last month of the growing season that makes the harvest. For Nebbiolo in particular, the last month is critical as the grape needs the influence of cool nights to develop its aromatic profile and color. In a perfect world, cool September nights extend the growing season into October which also allows for full phenolic ripeness of the seeds and stems. In 2000 that was not the case. The grapes ripened quickly, especially at the end of the season, when sugars climbed rapidly. The harvest took place under calm conditions, with no rain but under high temperatures. Growers talked about harvesting in shorts and t-shirts. 
   

1999

89

Drink

 With a few exceptions, these mid-weight Barbarescos need to be enjoyed over the next few years, before the fruit dries out. Barbaresco wasn't as fortunate as Barolo in 1999. Hail was an issue in some spots, including the high-rent zone that covers Asili and Rabajà, which finally convinced authorities to install hail cannons for protection. Relatively balanced conditions throughout the rest of the year led to a late harvest and wines with distinct elements of classical austerity. The 1999s were never particularly flattering when they were young. The best wines have aged gracefully, but broadly speaking, the 1999s have retained their essentially mid-weight, structured personalities. At the same time, most 1999 Barbarescos are now fully mature or close to it. In conclusion, 1999 is a slightly better than average vintage, with one or two wines that overachieve relative to the overall quality of the year. 
   

1998

93

Drink

 From the outset the 1998 Barbarescos have been open-knit, supple and expressive. The growing season was marked by warm temperatures, but without shocks. Stylistically, 1998 is similar to 1997, but less opulent and extreme. The 1998s are extremely aromatic, mid-weight Barbarescos that speak to grace over opulence. 
   

1997

92

Drink

 A ripe, forward, flashy vintage of unusually opulent Barbarescos. Most 1997s are mature or close to it. The first warm vintage since 1990 caught all but a few growers off guard. 
   

1996

96

Drink

 This cold-weather vintage captures the essence of what is considered 'classic' in Piedmont. The wines are dark in color, but translucent, perfumed and massively tannic. The finest wines have not peaked. If anything, they still have many years to go. Without question, 1996 is a modern-day classic, especially for readers who seek energy, tension and grip in Barbaresco. (10/20, AG) 
   

1995

88

Drink

 This vintage was highly regarded at the outset because it followed four dismal vintages. Many wines remain unyielding, compact and not especially inviting. Stick with the best producers. 
   
   
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