Produttori del Barbaresco - The best cooperative in the world!
Produttori del Barbaresco is a cooperative founded in 1958 in Barbaresco, Piemonte, North-West Italy. A Wine cooperative is an organization which is owned by its members, whereby they will purchase the grapes from their members and then produce, sell, export and market the wine across the world. Famous CO-OP's include La Chablisienne (Chablis), Domäne Wachau (Austria), Cave de Tain (Rhone), Cantina di Soave (Italy) and KWV (South Africa). In my eyes, Produttori del Barbaresco are the best, they are very strict on their members, and if the quality falls short one year, they will drop the grower. Quality > Quantity.
Their wines showcase the wonderful variety across the Barbaresco region which includes a 'basic' Langhe, a generic Barbaresco and 9 Cru: Asili, Moccagatta, Montefico, Montestefano, Ovello, Pajé, Pora, Rabajà, Rio Sordo. Each Cru shows a different face of Barbaresco, and I recently had the chance to taste 5 of their wines from the 2014 vintage.
Now 2014 might not have been hailed as high as 2016, however this vintage was certainly a good insight into 2016 and which wines to buy . The wines were doubled decanted, and so even if I tasted these 'en-primeur' it allowed a good insight into the different faces of Barbaresco.
The Cru will retail for around $70, for standard Barbaresco for around $48 and the Langhe: $30. All punch way above their weight and are all warmly recommended. As an additional extra, I have also included notes from both the standard Barbaresco and the Langhe.
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Pora 2014 - 91 points
Pora is located closest to the Tarano river and was by the far the most underwhelming wine of the evening. This wine showed aromas of violets, roses, bright fruit of candied cherries, plums, and red peppercorns. The palate was bright and raw (love this descriptor) with tart red fruit and crushed florals, fine tannins but very high and somewhat aggressive acidity. The finish was subtle and easy. I was a little disappointed by the showing of this bottle and felt it did not live up to the 93-94 of the critics. Still a solid wine, but needs time, since it seems in a weird place right now. 91+
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Ovello 2014 - 92 points
Ovello is one of the larger crus and hence can sometimes be difficult to have a good understanding of the true characteristics. Aromas of wild blackberry, plums, crushed stones, dried herbs and tar. The palate is much more herbacious and serious versus the Pora; This is of medium-full bodied with firm tannins wild mountain spicy dark fruit, dried herbs, black tea, crushed stones, with a rich and savory finish. This needs a little more time and even though I tasted this over a few nights my notes remained the same. A solid Cru but not one I would re-buy,
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Asili 2014 - 94 points
The Asili Cru is grown a majority of sandy soil, this helps to give the wine more elegance and aromatic flavors. Aromas were classic Asili with Cherries, florals, violets, roses, lavender, fresh earth and light spice. The palate was wonderfully elegant with silky tannins, a bouquet of red fruit, orange peel quite rich and nearly creamy mid-palate which leads to a lingering finish with a touch of spice. This will drink best in around 8 years then over the next 10-15.
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Montefico 2014 - 94 points
Another stellar Cru and one which shows the true diversity of the region. Montefico is located between Ovello and Montestefano. This showed notes of dark red fruit, cake spice, black tea, and hibiscus. The palate was medium-full bodied with firm tannins, buckets of dark fruits very lush in texture, more so than the Asili. The finish was rich yet focused. Certainly, the most 'fruit concentrated' Cru tried and possibly my favorite.
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà 2014 - 94 points
Rabaja is typically known as the most masculine cru of Barbaresco. This wine showed dark berry fruit, wild herbs black tea and tobacco leaf. The palate showed was medium-bodied with masculine yet refined tannins, rich dark fruit, savory herbs, fresh earth and anise runs through the core of the palate along with a bold structure which led to a rich and succulent finish. 94+
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2016 - 94 points
This is by far the best vintage of Produttori I have drank. When you look at the price compared to certain other labels which might be 4-5x the price, it makes you stop and think. Aromas of crushed red berries, dark cherries, crushed rose petals, fresh earth, wild herbs, and sweet spices. The palate was fresh and rich, with surprisingly finely grained tannins, the mid-palate was well defined along with good fruit quality and density. This definition did not drop towards the finish which I noted a little short for now, however, this will all come together and has a long future ahead of it. Compared to the 2015 this clearly is a step above, with better quality tannins, fruit and structure. So approachable now but wait. I am very excited about the 2016s and this is a real star of the vintage. Buying a case! 94+
Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2016 - 90 points
So clear in the glass, the nose reminds you that this will not be as light as the colour! Med-high tannins, high acidity. Sour cherry pie, wood smoke. The length is not as long as it's bigger brother, however perfectly enjoyable. Should probably leave this 1 year minimum to fully develop.
2016 is a great vintage in Barbaresco and one I will be buying deep. If you have not had a chance to taste Produttori del Barbaresco, it is a CO-OP like none other.Which is your favourite Cru?