2014 Curra' Sottimano
Wonderful aromatics, strawberry, raspberry, mint and herbs, elegant and pure. Taut, wound in but exciting, richly structured, with energy and vibrancy, an electric drive, sleek and layered. L&S (Jan 2019)
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Whoa, this is a wine with great potential, but the 2014 Barbaresco Currá needs at least another two years to just chill out. It's way too tightly wound at the moment. This vineyard is right next door to Cottà, but the Currà (the accents here reflect the real spelling of these MGA crus) is a whole different animal altogether. The soil that lies underground accounts for the difference. This Barbaresco is closed and hard if released too early, and this vintage definitely needs more time to show that elegance, which is bound to be remarkable when it does. The fabric of the mouthfeel is different, to say the least, but there is much more complexity as well. Some 3,000 bottles were made. Drinking range: 2021 - 2038 Rating: 95 Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) (Jun 2019)
Bright aromatics and veins of incisive tannin give the 2014 Barbaresco Currà its energy and drive. Like all of these 2014s, the Currà has a bit more volume and textural depth than is typically the case, along with sweeter, riper tannins. To be released in 2018. Rating: 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.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.
It is often lazily asserted that if Barolo is the King of Piedmontese wines Barbaresco is the Queen; which can unfairly suggest Barbaresco as the lesser of the two - it certainly isn't - and suggests a more feminine style to Barbaresco - which is rather hard to discern in reality. It is more in the way of a dual monarchy - two Kings, or Queens if you prefer, both can be big, both can be highly seductive. This is the intense and sensual world of Nebbiolo, where solid tannins vie unexpectedly well with delicate fruit, and where age unwinds ever more complex flavours. In this case we have a brace of wines from Cigliuti, wines that are surprisingly open in relative youth but offer much promise for the future; and a trio from the butch solid grippingly tannic world of Sottimano which cry out for a cool dark cellar and some patience.
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