Less pronounced nose of plum, cherry and some wood notes, touch of spice poking through. Palate has nice weight, rich tannins, dark bramble and plum fruit, some wood notes, spice and freshness, only bottled for 2 weeks so quite shy. L&S (Apr 2016)
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Another stunning value, the 2014 Langhe Nebbiolo is striking in its beauty. Freshly cut flowers, mint, sweet red berries and cinnamon all grace the palate in a delineated, vibrant Nebbiolo endowed with pure class. Impeccably balanced and absolutely delicious, the Langhe Nebbiolo is arguably the best wine for the money in this range. The Langhe Nebbiolo emerges from the Basarin vineyard in Neive, and could easily be sold as a Nebbiolo. Drinking range: 2017 - 2026 Rating: 90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Feb 2017)
'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.
Nebbiolo must be one of the world's great grape varieties, but it rarely thrives with any virtue outside of its native Piedmont. It is, of course, the variety behind the great wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, but there are other Nebbiolos at less lofty prices that offer that signiature combination of big-boned tannin and structure and delicate violet and tar fruit. Here we offer 'declassified' Barolo from Andrea Oberto, 'declassified' Barbarescos from Sottimano and Cigliuti, aswell as Bricco Maiolica's cracking 'Cumot' Nebbiolo made in the land between the two great regions.
Piedmont has the distinction of making, not only some of Italy's greatest wines, but also of using grape varieties rarely found elsewhere. The undisputed king of these varieties is the very noble Nebbiolo, in this case represented by Andrea Oberto's bright but solid Langhe Nebbiolo, a wine that outdoes many a Barolo. Piedmont's staple red variety is, however, Barbera with its juicy cherry fruit and often surprising body. Dolcetto - the "little sweet one" - is always densely coloured but often at the simpler fruitier end of things; not so Luigi Einaudi's beefy Barolo-alike Vigna Tecc. We have, also, included in this case the unusual Le Piane from the far north-east of Piedmont, from an almost obsolete region - Boca - and a mostly obscure variety - Croatina, backed up with Nebbiolo and Erbalauce; recognisably Piedmontese but with a gentler thoughtful edge.
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