2012 Cottá Sottimano
60-70 year old vines, limestone & clay soils here - the vineyard is just next door to Asili & Rabaja. Rich saturated cherries, earth, strawberries and hawthorn, pure, palate has lovely grip, rich full tannins, ripe cherries and red berries, some sinew, macerated depth, mineral pure and long, fragrant with some oak notes on the long finish. L&S (Nov 2015)
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Fruit aroma here is a little darker than on the Pajoré. Still so fragrant. Dry, tight on the palate, not at all ready to be broached. Powder fine, almost chalky in texture. Refined, long and not yet expressive. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 18+ Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Nov 2015)
I like the aromas of dried rose petal, plum and cedar. Some stems. Full-bodied, layered and chewy. Needs a year or two to soften: better in 2017. Rating: 92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Nov 2015)
A fresh, elegant style, with a firm edge of tannins under the pure cherry, strawberry, floral, spice and leather flavors. The tannins have the upper hand for now, so be patient. Drinking range: 2018 - 2026 Rating: 90 Bruce Sanderson, The Wine Spectator (Aug 2015)
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, hard-bodied and with good tannins. Hints of spices and smoke are characteristics of this area.
- Cottà, on limestone with clay 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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