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2019 BARBARESCO VINTAGE REPORT

It’s always fun to attend Barbaresco A Tavola during the month of May to get an idea of the current vintage in Barbaresco. The last 3 Fridays of the month, many local restaurants participate with a tasting of up to 21 Barbarescos with a full course meal…blind. The purpose for this event is to get an idea of what the vintage is like. I remember the wines of the 2016 vintage being nearly all 10s despite all the different labels, well-known and not. The year before that, I remember the wines being all over the place with much more vintage variation. This year, while tasting the 2019s I could definitely taste the structure and firm tannic grip. Overall, many were spicy, peppery and smoky (but not from the oak). So read below about what the weather was like during that vintage.

WEATHER

WINTER 

Mild and relatively dry.

SPRING

Rainy weather with low temperatures until mid-March followed by an abundance of rain in April which was perfect for filling the hydric reserves in the soil. May was sunny with average mild temperatures causing vigorous vegetation.

SUMMER

Sporadic rains with hot weeks during the last part of June and first week of July which repeated at the end of July.

FALL

Rains here and there until the notorious hail storm on Sept.5th, one of the latest, if not latest hailstorm on record.
Luckily this was isolated mostly at the foot of the hill around Alba, hitting many of Fontanafredda’s vineyards at the bottom of the Serralunga hill towards Gallo.

CONCLUSION

For Nebbiolo harvest, most grapes would have generally been picked towards the end of October making this a very “traditional” harvest time.

The grapes were analyzed as having sufficient ripening and sugar content with an important structure, good for aging.

A high number of anthocyanins were also measured, meaning the Barbarescos may have more pigment and a deeper darker color.

Overall, we would say this is a classic powerful vintage!

SOME OF MY FAVORITES FROM THE NIGHT

ADA NADA – BARBARESCO VALEIRANO

Stood out for its peppery nose carried over to the palate. Nicely balanced all the way through. My top pick of the night.

CASTELLO DI NEIVE – BARBARESCO SANTO STEFANO

Slightly closed nose with faint floral notes. On the palate it was structured with an extremely long finish.

PODERI COLLA – BARBARESCO RONCAGLIE

Beautiful classic nose of licorice, roses and cherries. The mid palate was a little lean but it regained power with a nice long finish.

RIZZI – BARBARESCO RIZZI

Very intense on the nose with cherry, menthol and asian spice. Nice body and persistence.

PIAZZO – BARBARESCO PAJORE

Ok so this was the last wine of the night (number 19)!!!

No descriptions here but wrote scores for a decent nose, nice balanced wine on the palate with fine yet firm tannins and beautiful finish. It’s always fun to attend Barbaresco A Tavola during the month of May to get an idea of the current vintage in Barbaresco.

The last 3 Fridays of the month, many local restaurants participate with a tasting of up to 21 Barbarescos with a full course meal…blind. The purpose for this event is to get an idea of what the vintage is like. I remember the wines of the 2016 vintage being nearly all 10s despite all the different labels, well-known and not.

The year before that, I remember the wines being all over the place with much more vintage variation. This year, while tasting the 2019s I could definitely taste the structure and firm tannic grip. Overall, many were spicy, peppery and smoky (but not from the oak). So read below about what the weather was like during that vintage.