Cascina Bruciata

2004 Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva DOCG

Nebbiolo •Barbaresco DOCG

Italy: Piedmont

Offer Expired:Jun 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


Today’s exclusive and very limited production wine is a superb example of the power and elegance of Italy’s Barbaresco. This wine is a must have addition to your cellar and will be drinking wonderfully for the next decade and beyond.


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Mission Codename: Great wine for great dads

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Secure an exceptional wine in honor of Father’s Day

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Cascina Bruciata

Wine Subject: 2004 Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva DOCG

Winemaker: Francesco Baravalle


The wines of the Barbaresco DOCG are made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Nebbiolo, native to the Piedmont in north-west Italy and cultivated in the region since the 13th century is generally a softer more elegant wine than its heavier brethren Barolo. The late ripening Nebbiolo is known to be highly influenced by various soil and vineyard conditions, with the wines from the best vineyard sites having sublime character.

The Nebbiolo grapes in this wine, considered the greatest of all Italian grapes, must be aged for a minimum of two years, of which one year must be oak or chestnut barrels. Barbaresco has exceptional aging qualities with the best wines having 40+ years of potential. Both Barbaresco and Barolo are considered to be among the finest wines in Italy.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep and dense ruby red with a clear bright ruby core. Along the edges, the color shows its barrel aging with a well developed rich ‘patina’ of brick/pink/ruby. When swirled, slow fat legs hang before descending to the wine below.

Smell – Medium bold in intensity with classic aromas of spiced black cherry, toasted spiced oak, a touch of black licorice, complex herbal notes and a hint of rose petal perfume.

Feel – Bright and tangy on the initial attack with highly textured etched tannins. Give this full-bodied wine time to open, however, and you’ll be greeted with a smooth and dry experience that is 100% pure Barbaresco.

Taste – Bright tart and ripe black cherry and other dark fruit flavors are layered and well integrated with complex notes of spiced toasted oak, herbal and floral components, rich cigar tobacco and a touch of black licorice.

Finish – Ultra long with this wines highly textured and sturdy tannins gripping onto the palate for an eternity as the black cherry, spice and other complex flavors linger away.

Conclusion – The 2004 Cascina Bruciata Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva DOCG is a truly exceptional example of the power and grace found in fine Barbaresco. This wine’s sublime complexity on the nose and palate is buttressed by its study but elegant structure. Certainly young to drink now (decant or let breathe for at least an hour), this wine will improve for a decade or more. Pair this wine with any classic Piedmonte cuisine, especially anything with truffles in it.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Francesco Baravalle

WINE EDUCATION: -Viticulture and Enology degree (2001 University of Turin)
-Sommelier degree (2008 Associazione Italiana Sommelier)

*WINE JOB BRIEF: * in addition to working in the Piedmont, I’ve spent three months in Margaret River (2003 Western Australia) and 4 years in Virginia making wine in the Monticello wine area (close to the city of Charlottesville).

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Apply the technologies to enhance and respect the personalities of each wine terroirs.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “wine is a devotion”

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Barolo Bricco Rocche Prapo’ 2003 (2007).


AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Francesco. We are thrilled to be showing your [wine] today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

FRANCESCO: Greetings to you!You are more then welcome, for me it is a great pleasure and honor to be part of this interview.

WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

FRANCESCO: My family in not into the wine business but I grew up going to vineyards during harvest time when my grandfather used to purchase grapes to make his own red wine. In addition, my dad is a great wine lover, so I’ve been educated to appreciate and respect wine.

WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

FRANCESCO: My stile is the Barolo and Barbaresco, I was born in Cuneo and I grew up surronded by this taste and flavors. I’m working now to understand more about this territory to get always the best expressions of it.

WHITE: Who do you make wine for?

FRANCESCO: I make wine for Cascina Bruciata, a little family owned winery located in one of the most prestigious crus of the Barbaresco DOCG area, the Rio Sordo

WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

FRANCESCO: Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva 2004 is a wine that comes from a 45 years old vineyard located in the heart of the Rio Sordo. In 2004 the grapes where perfectly ripe and healty,the whole season was very balanced (sun vs rain) and the flavors we are aprreciating now are showing great elegance in a perfect balance with its mouthfull body. We realised this wine in 2009 after have been elevated for 24 months in french allier oak barriques, 1 year in stainless steel tank and 1 year in bottle. This wine can age in bottle for another 10 years easily.

WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

FRANCESCO: A structured wine requests a structured dish, I think it pairs wery well with pre-braised piedmontese veal marinated and cooked in Nebbiolo based wine (Barolo or Barbaresco).

WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Piedmont so special?

FRANCESCO: Each wine from this region shows a very distinctive personality due to the hilly landscape and the ancient origin of the soil. Even inside the same cru you can find different espressions of the same style. The Nebbiolo grape in this area shows the highest quality with its unic aromatic profile.

WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

FRANCESCO: We are a small winery, so I do pretty much everything the season requests. Recently I’m spending a lot of time travelling to promote and explain what our territory is about. Spending time with people allows me to learn a lot and to share this “devotion” that I have for wine.

WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

FRANCESCO: The beauty of wine is not only the sensorial experience of tasting it, it is about knowing the tradition and culture of people and territory behind it. We have infinite sources of info through the internet, so I think when we decide to discover a wine, it would be interesting and fun to get some info about where it is from.

WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

FRANCESCO: When we taste a wine we are exposed to traditions, lifestyle and taste; this is a great way to increase a lot our culture on people and territories. It is a lot of fun!

WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

FRANCESCO: You are very welcome, thank you for letting me introduce my wine and region.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of the Cascina Bruciata and its vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

Awards & Accoaldes:

94 PointsWine Spectator – Black cherry and light toasty oak on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and loads of fruit. This is structured and powerful. A wine for aging. Best after 2012. 100 cases made. –JS

About This Wine:

The Barbaresco Rio Sordo is made from a selection of the best grapes from the Nebbiolo vineyards, and this Riserva is made only in excellent vintages. The Rio Sordo Riserva is the realization of Carlo’s desire to bottle a ‘perfect’ wine that expresses a balance between its powerful structure and ‘aristocratic’ elegance. The wine ages for 4 years before release. This aspect allows it to preserve the personality of its cru, meanwhile, developing the distinct character of a great Nebbiolo from a top quality vineyard.

This wine is very complex on the nose, showing red fruit notes with tobacco and hints of licorice. The mouth is full, round and smooth with a long and pleasant after-taste. It pairs excellently with important dishes, like braised veal, beef stew, or aged cheese.

Visual: Intense ruby red with garnet reflections, consistent.

Perfume: Intense, wide, fine, fruity and floral with balsalmic and spicy notes, ethereal.

Taste: Warm and smooth, full body, fresh, very persistent and concentrated.

About The Winery:

In the comune of Barbaresco, the top vineyard sites or “crus” have always been considered to be Santo Stefano, Rabaja and Rio Sordo. The Balbo family has long owned a good portion of the Rio Sordo cru, and sold grapes to prominent local winemakers. In recent years, they have employed the services as vineyard manager of Federico Curtaz, renowned locally for developing the vineyard sites of Angelo Gaja. In addition, they have obtained as their own winemaker Guido Martinetti, who has received eight ?Tre Bicchieri? (Three Glasses) awards from Gambero Rosso/Slow Food?s ?Vini d?Italia? – all by the age of thirty. In addition to their two cru Barbarescos, the estate produces small amounts of Dolcetto and Nebbiolo Langhe. ?A promising debut in the Guide for this small Barbaresco winery with ideally situated vineyards. The Balbo family, helped by Guido Martinetti and Federico Curtaz produce excellent wines. The two Barbarescos have a distinctive, precise style. The Dolcettos are enjoyably fruity. (Gambero Rossos Vini d’Italia)

Technical Analysis:

Location of vineyard: Rio Sordo cru, in Barbaresco (Cuneo) Piedmont

Altitude: about 270 meters above sea level

Soil type: clayey and calcareous, South and South-Western exposure

Total hectares: about 1,2 Ha

Varietal Planted: Nebbiolo, 40 year old vines

Training system: guyot

Production: about 50 q./Ha

Bottles: 1.200

Vinification: The fermentation takes place with the skins for about 10 days at around 30°C. The wine is aged for 24 months in French oak barriques (Allier forest 18% new oak), 1 year in stainless steel tanks and 1 year in bottles

Quantity per bottle: 75 cl

Alcohol content: 14.5% vol

Total acidity: 5,6 g/L expressed in tartaric acid

Bottling date: August

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