2013 Riserva Sottimano
A lean, taut red, this evokes cherry, earth and woodsy underbrush elements. Shows the classic austerity of the vintage and seems to be unfurling at a glacial pace, yet this has ripe red fruit at its heart. Beefy tannins pump the breaks on the finish. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 94 Bruce Sanderson, The Wine Spectator (Oct 2022)
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The Sottimano 2013 Barbaresco Riserva is dense and explosive right out of the gate. Rich dark fruit, kirsch, blood orange, cloves, licorice and leather power through. The Riserva, a selection of old-vine fruit from Cottá and Pajorè is a big wine that, in 2013, captures the house style of the era, a time when the wines were marked quite a bit by French oak and just as Sottimano was beginning to experiment with longer macerations. As such, it is a wine that belongs to a previous era here. Over the last few months the elements have started to come together nicely. Drinking range: 2023 - 2033 Rating: 93 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Feb 2022)
Sottimano's 2013 Barbaresco Riserva, a blend of old vines from Cottà and Pajorè, is off the charts gorgeous, and also one of the best wines I have ever tasted here. Rich, dramatic and sweeping, the 2013 possesses stunning inner perfumes, tons of mid-palate richness and exceptional balance. The 2013 is just beginning to show the first signs of aromatic development as it moves into its first plateau of maturity. Spice, lavender, menthol and licorice develop in a positively thrilling Barbaresco that hits so many high notes. The 2013 needs to be opened well in advance. Readers should expect a searingly intense Barbaresco with distinctly old school leanings. Drinking range: 2023 - 2038 Rating: 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Nov 2019)
The next generation of Andrea, Elena and Claudia Sottimano are now at the helm here and this exquisite estate continues to make better and better wines - some of the finest in Barbaresco. 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. In the vineyard they work organically and aim to limit yields. The winemaking is as low-intervention as possible, using only natural yeasts and then bottling without filtering or fining. All of these 'crus' are given exactly the same élevage, so as to allow the individual 'terroirs' to express their character. Terroir expression is the target here - and these amazing wines are as much an education as a joy to drink.
There are five different crus - each with very specific attributes where they produce their distinctly different Barbarescos. The latest edition is 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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