Partly to celebrate Tracie P hitting a sales milestone in her new career with Rodan + Fields and partly to commemorate the first set of original music by my new band at our first full rehearsal last night (more on that in coming weeks), we opened the above bottle of 2008 Barbaresco Ovello by Produttori del Barbaresco.
I bought the wine some years ago on release and it’s been sitting in my cellar in San Diego since that time (twice a year, I ship wines to Texas, weather permitting).
Tracie, my new band, and I were so floored by how good this bottle was that I reached out to my friend Luca Cravanzola, who works as an export manager for the cooperative winery, for a note on this excellent vintage.
Here’s what he had to say (translation mine)…
After a severe winter with abundant snowfall and a cool and rainy spring, the 2008 vintage began a little late with respect to the average [growing cycle] in previous years.
The warm temperatures at the peak of summer in July and August gave way to milder weather in September. But there was no excessive rainfall. You could even say, without reservation, that the end of the season was dry, which is ideal for Nebbiolo.
The harvest began on October 4, slightly later than usual given the “slow” growing cycle, which delivered excellent quality in the fruit.
Thanks to classic diurnal shifts in temperature during September and October here in Barbaresco, you could even go as far as to say that the ripening was nearly perfect.
No excessive sugar or over ripening gave the fruit healthy acidity and rustic, nervy tannin.
This is definitely a vintage that needs to rest in the cellar before being enjoyed. But even in the mid- to long-term, it will reward the drinker.
A classic vintage that we Langhetti [the ethnonym preferred by residents of the Langhe Hills] really love!
Although this wine has many years ahead of it (and I am blessed to have another 6 bottles in my cellar, more or less), it was already showing gorgeously last night, with electric acidity, subdued but still lip-smacking fruit, and tannins that were buoyed by the acidity and alcohol. What a great vintage for Barbaresco and what a great wine!
Thanks, Luca, for sharing your insights… I can see why you guys love this vintage so much.
Here’s a note that I recently wrote for a client on the difference between langhetto and langarolo.