2016 Produttori Del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rio
2016 Produttori Del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rio This vintage is compact and tightly woven together, suggesting a forecast for an extra long drinking window. The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo takes it up a notch if you consider the tasting of each one of these single-vineyard wines tasted in order. With the Rio Sordo, you really start to feel the textural richness and fruit weight that can be achieved with Nebbiolo in a great vintage. The Alutto and Marengo families farm the fruit used in this blend. This wine will live long, and I love that touch of candied licorice that appears on the close (especially when you come back to the open bottle 24 hours later).
A wine that most perfectly conveys the spirit and essence of its place, Barbaresco is true reflection of terroir. Its star grape, like that in the neighboring Barolo region, is Nebbiolo. Four townships within the Barbaresco zone can produce Barbaresco: the actual village of Barbaresco, as well as Neive, Treiso and San Rocco Seno d’Elvio.
Broadly speaking there are more similarities in the soils of Barbaresco and Barolo than there are differences. Barbaresco’s soils are approximately of the same two major soil types as Barolo: blue-grey marl of the Tortonion epoch, producing more fragile and aromatic characteristics, and Helvetian white yellow marl, which produces wines with more structure and tannins.
Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than in Barolo, primarily due to the vineyards’ proximity to the Tanaro River and lower elevations. While the wines here are still powerful, Barbaresco expresses a more feminine side of Nebbiolo, often with softer tannins, delicate fruit and an elegant perfume. Typical in a well-made Barbaresco are expressions of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, smoke and spice. These wines need a few years before they reach their peak, the best of which need over a decade or longer. Bottle aging adds more savory characteristics, such as earth, iron and dried fruit.