It’s time for Piedmont’s ‘other’ great Nebbiolo wine to stop being seen as the perennial bridesmaid to Barolo, says Ian D’Agata. Barbaresco is just as good and (whisper it) in some cases better, especially when it comes to price...
Barbaresco wine: know your vintages
2011: Great vintage of rich yet graceful wines; a minority are overripe, but much better than Barolo. Naturally reduced yields due to flowering difficulties.
2010: Solid wines; less successful than Barolo due to ill-timed rains.
2009: Difficult for Barbaresco; at best, soft wines of early appeal.
2008: Classic vintage of high-acid, tannic wines that will age well.
2007: A warm vintage of softer wines; some are overripe.
2006: High acid, resolutely tannic wines that need cellaring.
2005: Fresh and perfumed wines; underrated due to the late season rains that hit Barolo, but less so in Barbaresco.
2004: Overrated year: good, well balanced, powerful wines; but many evolving quickly, too ripe and one-dimensional.
2003: Very dry, hot year; wines high in alcohol and super-ripe.
2002: Rain-plagued vintage; lighter bodied wines, but some positive surprises.
2001: Stellar vintage that has it all: balance, charm and power.
2000: A hot vintage overrated from the start; some very good wines but not the greatest.