For once Barbaresco seems to have stolen a march on its more renowned neighbour, Barolo. Earlier-maturing Barbaresco with its proximity to the river and ensuing cooler nights, was considered excellent in 2011 from the word go. The plethora of wine-making talent, great number of top cru vineyards and refined style of wine, makes it every bit as compelling as Barolo. The 2011 vintage should represent a tentative step into the limelight.
We are delighted to offer two of the brightest unsung heroes of the region; Castello di Verduno and Cascina Luisin.
The Castello di Verduno, one of the historic castles of Barolo, originally built in 1500 was fully restored in the 1950s by Commendatore Giovanni Battista Burlotto. Today his daughters run the estate’s ten hectares of vineyard spread across Barbaresco and Verduno, the northernmost Barolo commune. Their top wines come from two of the region’s most hallowed vineyards; Verduno’s Monvigliero and Barbaresco’s Rabaja. The wine-making here is traditional; soft, slow fermentations with 25-40 days of maceration on the skins followed by ageing in large, old Slavonian oak casks, 24 months for the cru wines and 3 years for the cru riservas. These are refined, spirited, vital Barolos and Barbarescos with the elegance to allow early drinking, whilst boasting the balance and nerve to allow for long ageing.
Founded in 1913 by Luigi Minuto, great-grand-father of current owner Roberto Minuto, Cascina Luisin has always been owned and managed by the same family. Their seven hectares are spread over prime Barbaresco real estate – mostly comprising two of the region’s great crus; Asili and Rabaja. A truly artisan operation, the quality of the Luisin wines are centered on the vineyard work which is attentive and manual, whilst wine-making is simple and un-intrusive; 28 day fermentations and macerations are followed by 30 months in large Slavonian oak casks. The hallmarks of these classic, thrilling Barbarescos are purity and vitality, offering tension, pretty but subtle aromas, vineyard expression and finesse.