Best Christmas wine gift: Produttori del Barbaresco (hint, hint!)

One of the biggest thrills of my year in wine was my first taste of the newly released 2015 Produttori del Barbaresco (classic) Barbaresco with one of Barbaresco’s coolest homeboys, Luca Cravanzola.

Although we’ve corresponded over the years on numerous occasions and we follow each other on social media, Luca and I had never met in person until this spring when we both attended the same raucous, blow-out party in Franciacorta.

Luca’s grandfather Riccardo was the first president of the storied cooperative and he’s worked in the marketing and sales department for some time now.

(Read about the winery’s history on Ken Vastola’s excellent Nebbiolo portal, Fine Wine Geek.)

And how else to put it? Luca is uno dei nostri, one of us as they say in Italian.

People who work in the wine business get asked the same question by laypeople all the time: what’s your favorite wine?

It’s only natural that we answer: well, it depends on where I am, what I’m eating, and with whom I’m eating it.

But when pressed for a more specific response to the inquiry, I always tell them that I have bought and own more Produttori del Barbaresco than any other wine.

In terms of price-quality ratio, there is no more value-driven wine in the world imho. And the generally reasonable pricing makes it affordable for average punters like me.

Especially when it comes to the classic, blended cuvée (as opposed to the single-vineyard designated bottlings), the wine can be spectacular even in its youth. But it can also be cellared with stunning results for decades, depending on the vintage.

I’ve never tasted a bad wine from them and apart from the occasionally corked bottle or a bottle that’s been mishandled or mistreated, my experience in drinking and collecting these wines has always been overarchingly and wonderfully positive.

It’s the wine we drink on special occasions at our house. And it’s the wine that enjoy especially when sharing with my friends.

Just in case you’re shopping for great but affordable red wine for the holidays (or in the off-chance you’re shopping for a gift for me), you can’t go wrong with Produttori del Barbaresco.

Luca, it was so fun to meet you in person for the first time and it was a truly moving experience to taste the new vintage with you — my first kiss from the harvest!

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