2009 Fausoni Sottimano
Cherry, licorice and leather aromas and flavors highlight this rich, fruity Barbaresco. There's a solid grip of tannins that needs time to integrate. Fine purity and length, with leather and mineral on the aftertaste. Drinking range: 2015 - 2028 Rating: 92 Bruce Sanderson, The Wine Spectator (Feb 2013)
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A sweet, floral bouquet infused with a note of mint announces the 2009 Barbaresco Fausoni. This mid-weight, gracious Barbaresco is all about finesse, detail and nuance. I very much like the sense of energy here. Firm yet well-balanced tannins frame the long finish. The balance of fruit, acidity and structure is about as harmonious as it gets in 2009. Drinking range: 2014 - 2024 Rating: 92 Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate (Oct 2012)
A sweet, floral bouquet infused with a note of mint announces the 2009 Barbaresco Fausoni. This mid-weight, gracious Barbaresco is all about finesse, detail and nuance. I very much like the sense of energy here. Firm yet well-balanced tannins frame the long finish. The balance of fruit, acidity and structure is about as harmonious as it gets in 2009. Drinking range: 2014 - 2024 Rating: 92-92 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Oct 2012)
Much darker fruit on the nose than in the 2008, savoury but still perfumed with spice, touch of undergrowth. Softer and richer on the palate, firm but tannins are more chocolate-like than chalky in their texture; more open than the 2008. Beautifully fresh given the vintage. 2014 - 2022. Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com
Blueberry and cherry aromas with hints of licorice follow through to a full body, with soft and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Balanced and pretty. Try in 2014. Rating: 90 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com
Andrea Sottimano's 2011s and 2012s are fabulous. The 2011 Barbarescos capture the radiance of the year, while the just-bottled 2012s show gorgeous purity of fruit along with a greater sense of restraint. Readers who haven't tasted the Sottimano wines in a few years will want to check out these superb, pedigreed Barbarescos, as quite a bit has changed here, particularly over the last 5-6 years. Today, the approach to farming is decidedly less interventionalist than in the past. Sottimano no longer uses pesticides and herbicides. Yields aren't quite as dramatically low as they once were. The same hands off approach carries through to winemaking. Cool temperatures encourage slow and long malolactic fermentations, a long aging on the lees with minimal rackings, an approach that is much more typical in Burgundy than it is in Piedmont. Today's wines are transparent, crystalline and full of personality. There is no question quality has never been higher.' Antonio Galloni, Autumn 2014.
This sixteen hectare estate is based in the Cotta' region of Barbaresco, and the Sottimano family have over the years bought outstanding vineyards in the 'crus' of Currà, Cottà, Fausoni and Pajore. Yields are kept very low and the winemaking as natural as possible, without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers, using only natural yeasts and bottling without filtering or fining. All of these 'crus' are given exactly the same oak treatment so as to allow the individual 'terroirs' express their character (fermentation in barriques, of which 30% new, followed by 18 to 20 months in neutral barriques).
There are five different terroirs with Nebbiolo planted within the estate:
- Basarin, with a mixture of clay, limestone and sand, is at about four hundred metres above sea level. This produces the estate's Langhe Nebbiolo, which is basically 'village Barbaresco', as the vines are very young (10-15 years old). It makes for wines that are always very elegant, refined, tannins are silky and softer, nuanced of spices and herbs (eucalyptus).
- Fausoni, on sand and clay, makes wines that are always very elegant - mint, liquorice and little red fruits. This is in the historical part of Neive.
- Currà, on clay and limestone, is one of the smallest cru of the whole appellation, wines are always very intense and powerful, hardbodied and with good tannins. Hints of spices and smoke are characteristics of this area.
- Cottà, on limestone with clay,is is one of the oldest cru in Barbaresco, vines are always very old here (fifty years and older) and the colours are just a little bit lighter than other vineyards (because of the clay), but they have a very distinctive nose of dark fruits and mint, a great elegance and mineral tannins.
- Pajore is almost entirely on limestone with just a little clay. This is the highest vineyard of all, at 420 metres above sea level. The vines are very old, and it is always the most mineral and elegant of the four Barbarescos. Limestone brings into the wine a great purity of fruit, a distinctive aroma of spices and tobacco (cigar box) and a very unusual quality of tannins, firm but very mineral.
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