Cascina Baricchi Barbaresco 2001: man, what a wine!

From the department of “inner light”…

The mosaic of Italian wine is never-ending.

Just when you think you’ve wrapped your mind around all the classics (even after more than 20 years in the trade), another stunning wine seems to pop up out of nowhere as if to remind you that Italy is a fount of endless joy and pleasure.

To borrow a lyric from George Harrison, “The farther one travels/The less one knows/The less one really knows…”

Those lines dances through my brain a few weeks ago when my Italian bromance Giovanni poured me a glass of 2001 Barbaresco by Cascina Baricchi (above).

A bottle or two of the farm’s Timorasso had come my way (thank you, Chambers Street Wines). But this gem from the land of Nebbiolo had eluded my palate… until then.

Man, what a wine! Old school as it gets but with elegance, purity, and none of the rough edges that the old-line prophets of submerged cap once inscribed in their wines (I’m thinking of Roagna, for example, one of my all-time favorites, before Luca started making the wines).

It was no surprise to read, on the farm’s website, that its Barbaresco is raised (mostly) in large-format “un-toasted” cask. And it was equally unsurprising to learn that the winemaker views its wines as an expression of “Langa… the sensations, warmth, wildness, and class that only these wines, from these areas, can convey.”

According to the site, the estate is represented in the U.S. by Bliss Wines in Napa, an importer specialized in organically farmed and non-interventionist wines.

If you’ve never tasted Baricchi, look out for the wines. I know I’ll be snatching up every bottle I can lay my hands on.

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