by Charles Lea

We have had Andrea Sottimano (from the eponymous wine estate in Piemonte) going round the shops and various restaurant customers this week, tasting his wines, culminating in a dinner at Quo Vadis. And they are just great. The Barbarescos (Barbaresci?) (no – appparently ‘Barbareschi’ is correct) are awesome, but it is clear from our tastings that these young wines they do benefit from being opened early if possible. Andrea was as always keen to stress that these wines are made with no real intervention on the cellar – not fined, not filtered and so on, and that the vineyards are organic (but uncertified), the appproach is minimalist so that the wines each express their own character as purely as possible.

These three at the ‘value’ end of his offering really deserve to be in your winter cellar – if you don’t feel like committing to a full case of one of them, why not try the mixed case of 4 bottles of each. If you live in London you could have this delivered tomorrow if you order any time today.

2010 DOLCETTO D’ALBA Bric del Salto Sottimano £11.95 (as part of a case)

Every restaurant in Piemont has a Dolcetto by the glass – it’s ‘introductory Piemontese wine’, juicy, sappy, mouthwatering and goes brilliantly with food.

As the WineGang commented on this wine at our recent tasting “From the excellent Sottimano, based in the Cotta area of Barbaresco, a joyously pure and drinkable Dolcetto. It’s all about the gorgeously ripe dark black cherry fruit and the vigorously fresh acidity, with just a touch of astringent tannin keeping it appetistingly dry and food-friendly. One for a wild-mushroom risotto on a mellow autumnal evening.”

2009 BARBERA PAIROLERO Sottimano £17.95 (as part of a case)

All mouthfilling roundness and satisfying, winter-defying depth of fruit.

“Single vineyard. 20-25 days on skins. Racked to wood. Eight months on lees. Made just like the Barbaresco. Deep crimson. Very perfumed for a Barbera. Lightly spiced and pure fruit. Fragrant and fresh and mineral. Both generous and fresh and still has that dry mineral texture. Smooth dry tannins. More red fruited than the Dolcetto. Long. Juicy and generous but it has the lovely structuring acidity and minerality to balance that generosity of fruit. 2012-2018  – 17 ”  Julia Harding,

2009 LANGHE NEBBIOLO Sottimano £14.95 (as part of a case)

A ‘declassified’ Barbaresco – it comes from 15 year old vines in the Basarin vineyard, but the Sottimanos don’t consider this to be old enough to make Barbaresco. It has become something of a staple in the Lea household – there’s something very satisfying it its slightly gritty grippiness and purity of spicy fruit.

“Beautifully fragrant and open. Floral and tea and just a touch of coffee. Then that real firm tannic grip, and the perfume on the palate all tied up by the structure. Chocolate texture (not taste) on the finish. Flavour all tied up in the texture too. According to Sottimano, the 2004 vintage of this wine has aged very well. 2013-2019 16.5+”    Julia Harding,


Draw the curtains, light the fire, and get ready to appreciate the total purity of Andrea Sottimano’s wine. 4 x 2010 DOLCETTO D’ALBA Bric del Salto Sottimano 4 x 2009 LANGHE NEBBIOLO Sottimano 4 x 2009 PAIROLERO Sottimano