10 Top-Scoring Barbarescos From the 2017 Vintage

Vineyards of Barbaresco with Alps and Monte Viso in the background / Getty
Vineyards of Barbaresco with Alps and Monte Viso in the background / Getty
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The latest release of Barbaresco is coming in strong. This famed Piedmont region continues to impress with elegant and moody Nebbiolos built to last. With notes of cherry and violet with a savory character and firm structure, these wines, while not typically approachable in their youth, tend to enter their drinking windows sooner than neighboring Barolo.

There’s great value in this region, too. The majority of our selections come in at less than $50. These offerings are worth the investment, especially for collectors in search energetic, food friendly wines.

Top-Scoring Barolo From the 2016 Vintage

Cascina delle Rose 2017 Rio Sordo (Barbaresco); $60, 97 points. Opening with enticing aromas of fragrant purple flowers, spiced cranberry and camphor with a whiff of new leather, this is an absolutely gorgeous wine. The delicious palate takes up where the nose leaves off, delivering juicy Morello cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and cinnamon. Polished tannins and fresh acidity keep it elegant and balanced. Drink 2022–2029. Polaner Selections. Editors’ Choice. -Kerin O’Keefe

Castello di Neive 2017 Albesani Santo Stefano (Barbaresco); $40, 96 points. Aromas of ripe black-skinned fruit, fragrant blue flowers, new leather and a whiff of menthol form the alluring nose. Full in feel and savory, the enveloping palate doles out fleshy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, crushed mint and tobacco set against firm, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2023–2029. LLS–Winebow. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

Nada Giuseppe 2017 Casot (Barbaresco); $40, 96 points. Perfumed, full bodied and elegant, this gorgeous wine has enticing scents of iris, fragrant woodland berry, aromatic herb and baking spice. Made with organic grapes, the delicious, structured palate delivers juicy black cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and crushed mint set against taut, refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Drink 2021–2029. Vintage ’59 Imports. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

Sottimano 2017 Pajorè (Barbaresco); $71, 96 points. Violet, new leather, truffle and spiced plum are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this captivating red. Full bodied and boasting youthful tension, the linear palate delivers mature Morello cherry, spiced cranberry, star anise and tobacco framed in tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2023–2030. Skurnik Wines, Inc. —K.O.

Francesco Versio 2017 Barbaresco; $50, 95 points. Ripe raspberry, camphor and iris aromas form the expressive nose along with whiffs of dark spice. Focused and elegantly structured, the luminous palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, cedar, star anise and a hint of tobacco framed in taut, refined tannins. Artisanal Cellars. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

We Recommend:

Michele Chiarlo 2017 Asili (Barbaresco); $90, 95 points. Fragrant and loaded with personality, this opens with heady scents of violet, camphor, tilled earth and wild berry. On the savory palate, taut, fine-grained tannins accompany dried black cherry, crushed raspberry, thyme and star anise. It closes on an almost salty note. Drink 2023–2030. Kobrand. —K.O.

Adriano Marco & Vittorio 2017 Sanadaive (Barbaresco); $30, 94 points. Inviting aromas of ripe black-skinned fruit, new leather and blue flowers with a whiff of menthol shape the nose. Chewy and savory, the palate doles out succulent Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry and licorice alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2029. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. –K.O.

Cascina Alberta 2017 Giacone (Barbaresco); $39, 94 points. Intensely fragrant, this opens with aromas of white pepper, aromatic herb, blue flowers and ripe wild berry. Boasting concentrated flavors of succulent black cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and baking spice, it shows finesse, thanks to polished tannins. Fresh acidity and crushed mint lift the finish. Drink through 2027. Cherio Holding & Trading. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

Rivetto 2017 Marcarini (Barbaresco); $30, 93 points. Wild berry, camphor, fragrant blue flower and tilled soil aromas mingle with whiffs of star anise. Made with organically farmed grapes, the taut palate offers dried cherry, licorice and tobacco framed in tightly wound, close-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2029. Wilson Daniels. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

Prunotto 2017 Barbaresco; $45, 92 points. Enticing aromas of violet and iris mingle with forest berry and crushed herb in this sleek, savory red. Smooth and elegantly structured, the bright palate shows juicy red cherry, blood orange and star anise alongside taut, polished tannins. It’s already enjoyable but also has a youthful vibrance that will carry it for several years or more. Drink through 2027. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.

Published on September 9, 2020
Topics: Italy