Of the 2014s from Andrea this is proving the most shy for now and yet is destined for the longest life ahead. There is the tell-tale intensity of fruit - the brooding weight of this vineyard is clear in the compacted dense core. The old vine intensity is clear here Andrea has vines up to 70 years old in his Cottá parcel and this balances the power with great poise too. A lovely precision to the dark cherry juice and hints of the richer blackberry flesh to come. Spiced and with a delicate note of more savoury spice this will need a bit more time than the other two Crus to unravel - and when it does - there will be so much to enjoy! One for the cellar that will repay a moment's patience. Fine and pure and yet with lovely substance. L&S (Aug 2018)
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The 2014 Barbaresco Cottà does not offer the acute high notes that you get with the other beautiful Barbarescos from Sottimano in this vintage. The intensity is broader and flatter, so to speak, but overall, the wine's intensity is just as bright and compelling as the others, albeit in a more subdued manner. Dark cherry and blackberry segue to spice, anise and cured leather. The wine feels soft and rich in texture as well. Some 10% of the wine is aged in new oak barrel. Drinking range: 2018 - 2030 Rating: 93 Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) (Oct 2018)
The 2014 Barbaresco Cottà is one of the least expressive wines in this range, which is quite surprising, as it is usually the exact opposite. Plush and deep on the palate, with its typical breadth on display, the 2014 possesses notable freshness and nuance. The wine's reticence today is likely an excellent sign for the future. Moreover, the French oak, often an issue with this wine, is totally integrated. Drinking range: 2020 - 2034 Rating: 93+ Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Nov 2017)
Something very slightly burnt about this nose. Reasonably friendly but fairly lightweight. A tad astringent on the end. Drinking range: 2019 - 2027 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Oct 2017)
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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