Andrea pours the same love attention and effort into making this beautiful (Baby Barbaresco) as he does for the estate wines. Indeed in 2015 from the same plot here in the Basarin Cru, Andrea has used some older vines to bottle a beautiful joyous Barbaresco - all that limits this 'Langhe Nebbiolo' from becoming a Barbaresco is Andrea's patience. The vines here at 15 years are too young he says - but one day... This is incredible value - fine, pure, soft-grained Nebbiolo from a star producer. Organic to boot - proper artisan stuff! L&S (Sep 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
More than a hint of the place and grape. Ripe and smoky. Good balance and Good value. Drinking range: 2018 - 2020 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Oct 2018)
The 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo is a very pretty wine. Sweet floral notes, bright, red-toned fruit and silky tannins give the wine its poise and sense of finesse. Medium in body, lift and super-appealing, the Langhe Nebbiolo is a fabulous choice for readers who want a fine, artisan Nebbiolo to drink young that does not have the imposing structure of Barolo or Barbaresco. Drinking range: 2018 - 2025 Rating: 90-90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Jun 2018)
Located in the Nieve area, Sottimano sources fruit for this wine from across the larger Langhe appellation. The 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo is a terrific, mid-weight wine to pair with white meat, roasted ham or chicken. It opens to a light garnet color and offers great aromatic intensity. I wish I had a few more bottles of this (well-priced) wine around the house. Dark cherry is followed by earthy tones, licorice and ash. Drinking range: 2018 - 2022 Rating: 91+ Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com)(Apr 2018)
Barbaresco specialist Sottimano crafts clever and complex wines that are hugely drinkable and especially at this level. Coming from younger vines than its Barbaresco cuvées, to ensure early vintage drinkability, this cherry and red berry-infused delight gives the modest Langhe Nebbiolo classification a good name. Rating: 90 www.thewinegang.com(Jan 2018)
'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.
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