Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2007 Barbaresco

Vineyards below the town of Barbaresco
(Photo ©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)
Molino "Teorema"
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)
Battaglio (Neive)
Fratelli Giacosa "Basarin" (Neive)
Pasquale Pelissero "Bricco San Giuliano" (Neive)

The wines were tasted blind, so as always, there were surprises, good and bad.

I also visited the Ceretto estate a few days before these tastings and thoroughly enjoyed their 2007 "Bricco Asili" bottling, which is from the vineyard in the commune of Barbaresco.


  1. Tom,

    I've finally posted my thoughts on 2007 Barbaresco – not quite as quickly or concisely as you. While we both agreed on Fratelli Grasso's "Vallegrande" and on the general overdone nature of many wines in Neive, it appears we have quite different takes on the character of the vintage in Treiso and Barbaresco.

    Always interesting to compare notes. And it was a pleasure tasting with you in Alba.


  2. David:

    Thanks for the post. I'll check out your notes as soon as I can. I am in Puglia now and will be busy tasting the next few days.

    I enjoyed tasting with you in Alba and respect your palate, so I'm interested to see what you've written.

  3. Nice blog. I'll visit again. I've just returned from a quick pass through Barbaresco, Nieve, and Barolo--unfortunately, not on an extended wine tasting tour. I was impressed by the beauty of the place. So much wine, so little time....

  4. I have become increasingly familiar with wine from Barbarescos and the surrounding region in recent years and must say that they are among some of my favorites. Thank you for this post.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment about wines from Neive which are indeed all too often over-oaked. For me this is silly because they are more than capable of producing an excellent wine without trying to 'force' it.