Meet an Italian winery that breaks the mould. It's a cooperative that makes only high quality wine, only in the best years and which is unafraid of not producing wine at all in less than great years.
It is Produttori del Barbaresco.
The words high quality and co-op are not usually uttered in the same sentence, in wine circles, so it may come as a surprise to find not only that Produttori makes outstanding wines, but also that its bottom line is not as important as its reputation.
The winery began when Barbaresco began.
It was originally founded in 1894 as the Cantina Sociale Barbaresco by a talented young Italian winemaker called Domizio Cavazza, who bought a castle (as you do) and invited a bunch of Barbaresco grape growers to submit their grapes to him to make wine. And make wine he did, until the 1930s when the Cantine closed due to fascism, The Depression and World War I.
It was revived in 1958 as the Produttori del Barbaresco, situated right in the heart of the town of Barbaresco and managed by Aldo Vacca, who is a former assistant to the great winemaker, Angelo Gaja.
All of the grapes used by the Produttori come from the Barbaresco appellation and every year the coop produces a classic Barbaresco. This is a great wine at a (relatively) affordable price, given the nature of Barbaresco and its pricing. But the best wines produced by the Produttori are the nine single vineyards, which are only made in great years.
A bunch of new releases from 2014 have just landed in New Zealand and arrived in store at Regional Wines from the top nine cru of Barbaresco:
Click on each wine to buy it at Regional Wines.
The most approachable Barbaresco cru
The middleweight Barbaresco cru
The most full bodied and age worthy Barbaresco cru
Montefico - sadly, we have no 2014 because it is so popular
The cru wines were first released in 1967 with five of the nine crus.
These wines drink well when they are eight to ten years old but the most age worthy clearly have another decade (or more) up their vinous sleeves.
Read more about Produttori del Barbaresco here.