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:
Textbook Barbaresco, with a fragrant, elegant cherry and raspberry nose. A sleek texture with fine-grained tannins gives intensity and...
Elegant nose of raspberries and roses; there are no tell-tale signs of barrique-ageing. Fresh attack leads into a quite concentrated palate...
Lush raspberry-coulis and cherry nose. Broad, fleshy and concentrated, with firm tannins beneath the fruit. Quite imposing without being...
A modern-style Barbaresco with aromas of raspberries, liquorice and smoky oak. Rich and sturdy, with a core of sweet fruit. A touch austere...
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.
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.