2017 Vie Erte Cigliuti
Sourced from 15-year-old vines in Bricco di Nieve, the 2017 Barbaresco Vie Erte was aged in Slavonian oak. Fragrant with poppy red fruit, cinnamon, and dried roses, it delivers juicy cherry fruit on the palate, with orange peel and clove. Drinking range: 2021 - 2035 Rating: 94 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Oct 2021)
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Enticing aromas of cherry, white pepper, mint and spice introduce this rich red. A tightly-woven matrix of tannins lurks beneath it all, yet this should come together nicely in a few years. All the components are there. Best from 2023 through 2040. Drinking range: 2023 - 2040 Rating: 93 Bruce Sanderson, The Wine Spectator (Feb 2021)
The 2017 Barbaresco Bricco di Neive Vie Erte packs a serious punch. Bright red cherry fruit, white pepper, iron, mint, game, smoke and dried herbs give the Vie Erte a distinctly feral, savory quality. Today, the 2017 is austere and tightly wound, so readers will have to be patient. There is plenty of intrigue, that is for certain. Yields are down a whopping 60%. Drinking range: 2023 - 2037 Rating: 92+ Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Oct 2020)
Sisters Claudia and Silvia Cigliuti took over the running of this vineyard from their father Renato. He was the first member of the family to begin bottling his own wine, back in 1964, roughly the same time as other pioneers in the region like Giacosa, but the family can trace its roots on this land back to the late eighteenth century.
Most of the vineyard and the winery is on the Serraboella hill, looking over Neive from the east, and it is the Barbaresco Serraboella which is the flagship wine of the estate. This hill, composed of calcareous marl and tufa soils, gives classic wines which combine the textural finesse of clay and the length and longevity of wines from limestone. The vineyards are tended by the family, by hand, with low yields to ensure full ripeness every year.
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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