Stephen Brook reviews the 2014 vintage in Barbaresco and picks his top wines...

Barbaresco 2014 vintage summary:

  • Escaped the hail that blighted Barolo

  • Wet and warm July and August made for humid conditions which threatened the Nebbiolo grapes

  • A disappointing vintage overall, although Treiso stood out.


Scroll down to read more about the vintage


Stephen Brook’s top 2014 Barbarescos:

 


View all of Decanter’s Barbaresco 2014 tasting notes


After a normal early summer, heavy rain set in, especially in late July, even though the downpours were localised. It was warm too, so disease flourished, and growers had to react fast with treatments.

Although the weather improved in September and October, the damage had been done, and yields were reduced too. Outbreaks of hail, also localised, didn’t help either.

Some growers declassified their Barolo to Langhe Nebbiolo. Barbaresco, however, was spared the hail and there was far less rain than in Barolo.

The importance of location

Site made a huge difference. Claudio Roggero, winemaker at Castello di Neive explains: ‘At our top vineyard, Santo Stefano, we had no rot and perfectly healthy clusters at harvest. But you had to work constantly because of the humidity. Removal of bunches and leaves was essential too. Cooler and drier conditions in September helped the Nebbiolo. But the vintage showed the quality of the best sites.’

The vintage style

The wines were mostly disappointing, with many showing thin fruit and green tannins. In quite a few cases the extraction did not seem to be modified to allow for the lightness of fruit. However, there were some excellent wines from Treiso in particular.

Is this a vintage to buy? I would suggest you proceed with care.


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