Italian wine can be quite overwhelming to understand, with the country’s numerous wine regions and almost infinite varietals. However, the region of Barbaresco offers us a breath of fresh air with its straightforward approach. Within the territory of Barbaresco, one producer in particular stands out as a real gem—Produttori del Barbaresco.
Barbaresco is tucked away in the region of Piedmont, located in the northwest reaches of Italy. The only grape allowed into Barbaresco is Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo derives from the Italian word nebbia, meaning fog. It should be no surprise to hear the weather in Piedmonte is cold, with foggy clouds and rain a common sight. Barbaresco has more than 60 individual vineyards, and the best are called crus. These crus can be found on rolling hills made of sand and clay.
Produttori dates back to the 1950s, and its history is quite interesting. Seeing the daily struggles of tiny landholders in Barbaresco, a priest gathered these numerous producers and formed the cooperative named Produttori del Barbaresco. As a collective, these producers found the resources to create one of the most exciting wines to come from this region.
In very special years, Produttori makes exceptional wines. Special crus to look for include Rabajà, Asili and Pora. These wines are also labeled as Riserva; Riserva wines are aged longer then classic Normale bottles.
Barbaresco has been thrown in the spotlight as the softer more elegant version to Barolo. It has the appearance of weathered brick at the core, fanning out to translucent orange, and immediately expresses itself with an aroma of tomato leaf, black truffles, and dried red currant. The mouth feel can be overwhelming at first, with a structure defined by the piercing tannins and baking spices. This wine evolves after every sip and I find it difficult to resist finishing the bottle before dinner even begins.
Produttori del Barbaresco offers a classic traditional example of what Barbaresco has to offer. At $30, it’s priced way below its competitors from the same region, so it’s worth checking out.