06 Barbaresco: a final (?) clarification from Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco

Above: As my good friend and top sommelier David Rosoff will tell you, “I learned more about Barbaresco talking to Aldo Vacca for 10 minutes” than I have in my whole career.

I wanted to draw your attention to a comment made by winemaker Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco, posted the other day here at Do Bianchi. He was commenting in response to Charles Scicolone, who had asked plaintively whether or not Produttori del Barbaresco typically executed different bottlings destined for its domestic and international markets (the thread appeared in a post on the winery’s decision not to bottle its single-vineyard wines for the 2006 vintage).

Here’s what Aldo had to say:

    Just a quick note: we at Produttori Barbaresco never bottle wines specifically for one market or another. We do not look for specific taste for specific market and all that, we just make the wine at the best of our knowledge in one very define style. If we do more than one bottling, we try to have a similar blend in all bottling.

    We do release our new vintage in the Fall in Italy and usually, because of the logistics of the market and because we like to give some more bottle aging when we can, the next January is most export market. So, it is usually the case that the first bottling is mainly sold in Italy while the second bottling (which is also larger in size) goes to export and Italy as well: it is just a matter of timing, not of deciding which market gets what.

    Normally this will not make any difference anyway because the two bottling would be very similar.

    The one thing that happened with the 2006 vintage was the late decision of not bottling the SV. If we had made the decision earlier, as we usually do, all bottlings would have been the same.

In a somewhat unrelated note, yesterday I poured the 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo by Produttori del Barbaresco in a tasting in Austin. Man, it’s light and bright and showing great right now, better than when it first came into the market. A tough vintage in Piedmont but great for entry-level wines like this, where some of the better fruit ended up in the front-line wines.

And in a totally unrelated note, in the light of Aldo’s love of Neil Young, we’re trying to get him out to San Diego on July 8 to sit in with The Grapes.

In other news…

I highly recommend my good friend Thor’s excellent post over at the 32 Days of Natural Wine on the natural wine scene in Paris. I really love his writing and I especially appreciated his hypercorrective neolgism oenopiphany. After all, there are men who know what the word epistemology means without having to look it up in a dictionary and there are others who have to go to Brooks Brothers to find out.

In other other news…

For the wine geeks out there and anyone else who wants to wrap her or his mind around what sulfur, sulfites, and SO2 have to do with wine, I highly recommend this post on the use of sulfur in wine by bonvivant Bruce Neyers, a man who needs no introduction to the oeno-initiated.

Buona lettura e buon weekend, ya’ll!

10 thoughts on “06 Barbaresco: a final (?) clarification from Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco

  1. Since I live in Italy still would like to know how to distibguish between the bottelings. I tasted 05 and 06 at Spoleto’s wine festival. That 06 was sure a vintage mix much more presence and depth or lets just say grape taste than the 05 which had to much oakey tones for me. The 06 is quite nice and I’m not a Piemonte wine fan…….

  2. I agree with you on Aldo Vacca, he is one of the gems of Barbaresco. He is in Australia and I catching up with him Tuesday which is always a pleasure.


  3. @Thor I’ll meet you in line at Brooks Brothers returning our bow ties… ;-)

    @Peter not sure where you found oakiness in Produttori del Barbaresco. I do think the 06 is an anomaly for the winery. But I also think that Produttori del Barbaresco is generally excellent no matter how it’s blended. In America, we tend to obsess about the “single-vineyard” being the better wine. In my experience, it’s the blended Barbaresco (which comes mostly from Ovello, as Aldo told me during my March visit there) that is the best wine. 05 was a great vintage, if a little hot for Piedmont. 06 more classic in my opinion. The bottom line is that winemakers like Aldo (who have a host of growers that rely on him) need to make tough decisions in a tough market — for the sake of his growers and for our sake as well, so that the winery will continue to prosper.

    @Anthony sometimes I think Aldo is the only sane winemaker left in Piedmont! Please tell him I said hello!

  4. Hi Jeremy,
    will do!! He is bringing 14 wines to show me which will be good and warmed with a bottle of 05 Produttori Barbaresco on Sunday night.

    He is a gentleman. His wine is imported into Australia by another distributor (ie not myself) and (I am good friends with his Oz) so he shows me the wines out of my love for Produttori!! He has no real financial gain in showing me the wines, his hospitlity is fantastic.

    If you and Tracie P every come to Australia, you will have to drop me a note for a couple of cheeky offlines :-)


  5. Maybe it was because I tasted 05 and 06 next to each other. It was not oak like real new big new oak I assume. I do agree with you the basis is very good in general especially for the price. Talked to the distributor here and he’ll get me the good ones :-) I’ll give some to my sister it is her favorite. Near Perugia there is a nice restaurant with a very friendly sommelier, the restaurant is called Stella, he always has some older years on stock for unbelievable low prices (for foreigners) that is. If you are visiting Bea make sure you head over there, you’ll like the winelist.

    http://villainumbria.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/restaurant-stella-perugia/(part of the winelist is n their site)

  6. Pingback: A Little Light Summer Reading: Hot Off the (Virtual) Press | The Blend

  7. Pingback: God Bless Aldo Vacca. | Italian Wine Geek

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