with Antonio Galloni & Alessandro Masnaghetti

I have mentioned Antonio Galloni quite a few time in my posts because HE IS THE MAN when it comes to Piemontese wine. As a critic and journalist, whether you agree with him or not, his knowledge and specialization in this region is astounding and he spends much of his time here to truly know the land and its people.

Alessandro Masnaghetti is a genius who has dedicated his life and career to studying the geology, history and statistics of harvest times, etc. His studies and maps have become one of the greatest gifts for vintners and wine students. I am honoured to also call him a friend! I am even more flattered that I was invited to a very intimate and fascinating wine tasting, Espressione Barbaresco 2020, guided by Antonio and Masnaghetti to learn about the new Barbaresco vintage.



1) Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Rabaja – Darker fruits and an charcoal nose as it oxiginated with roasted green pepper and forest fruits. Fresh with good acidity and smooth and juicy on the palate.

2) Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi – More red fruits on the nose with hints of earth and a beautiful ripe sweetness on the palate.

3) Ca’ Nova Barbaresco Montestefano – The most open on the nose of the wines from Barbaresco for me with a good mineral component, a bit of spice and super long finish. They mentioned that Montestefano is known for its tarry flavors and slightly bitter finish.

4) Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello – Rose petals and clay, an asian spice like cumin, pepper, long finish.

5) Cascina Morassino Barbaresco Ovello – Cherries, dark fruit, spice, opulant and round with smooth tannins.


6) Odder Poderi e Cantine Barbaresco Gallina – Sweet ripe red fruit, incense and roses with a soft tannin on the palate. Younger soils give it elegance with fruity and floral characteristics.

7) Cascina Vano Barbaresco Canova – Lifted and mineral, earthy with a delicate hint of caramel.

Its Eastern location with Lequio formation make it a unique style of Barbaresco.

8) Paitin Barbaresco Serraboella – Dried herbs, violets and hay. Vertical and more structured than other Barbarescos. From this location you get more austere vertical tannins from the Eastern side.


9) Pelissero Barbaresco Nubiola – A bit closed, rose petals and licorice which seemed more evolved than the others.

10) Sottimano Barbaresco Pajorè – Roses, raspberries, helichrysum, dried herbs but a bit musty to me. Good aromatics generally from vineyards like Pajore.

11) Nada Giuseppe Barbaresco Casot – Super intriguing and we paid homage to Giuseppe who passed away this week. Wild blackberry, chives, dill, pepperoncino, spearmint lighter body more acidic and strong tannin, with peppery finish. Really interesting. Wines from this area give you a drier tannin in the end.


Only Massalupo MGA is in the Alba town, the rest are part of Treiso and also similar in many ways.

12) Adriano Marco e Vittorio Barbaresco Sanadaive – Nice acidity with juicy red fruit, almond finish with nice long persistence.


13) Prunotto Barbaresco Bric Turot –  Orange rinds and citrus notes, white flowers, lighter bodied, long finish.

14) Poderi Colla Barbaresco Roncaglie – Dark berries, spicy, light bodied but beautiful layered aromas and flavors.

15) Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco – Sweet ripe fruit, spearmint with smooth tannins. Lovely.

A good way to circle back with a blended vineyard Barbaresco 


1. There are 2 main geological formations in Barbaresco compared to 7 in Barolo.

Marne di Sant Agata & Formations of Lequio (higher parts of higher altitudes of Neive/Treiso).

2. Rabaja, because of its warmer exposure usually exhibits darker fruit, minerality and good energy but exposure is not everything.

3. Ovello has two exposures and we tasted them side by side. West is the historical part but in the East you find more ethereal and floral expressions.

4. Gallina – south exposure and very open with no hills shadowing it which gives an open and opulent character.

5. Treiso tends to have aromatics and higher acid and sometimes lighter body due more to the cool air from the Alta Langa (more so than just from the altitude).

Only about 35% is planted with Nebbiolo compared to about 70% in Barbaresco.

6.The best way to look at the differences in the MGA cru sites is to look at the expression of the tannins and how they feel on the palate.


The 2020s are beautiful! Compared to 2019, they are more open with a softer mouthfeel and silkier tannins. The 19s were quite grippy and nervous and definitely worth aging.

The 20s have substance and wonderful complexity but are so soft and easy drinking generally speaking. Not at all boring and primary though, there were plenty of notes of spices, pepper, tar, and floral notes which made them very intriguing.

I look forward to choosing lots of 2020 for the upcoming selections!