What We Say 2001 Barbaresco Vigna Montersino
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Orlando Abrigo.
Rare Wine Alert:
Today’s selection is extremely rare and is an exceptional value. If you are a fan of Italian wines, this is a must have addition to your cellar.
Mission Codename: Rendezvous Nella Piemonte
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Find an exceptional Barbaresco for a great price.
Mission Status: Ongoing…
Current Winery: Orlando Abrigo
Wine Subject: 2001 Barbaresco Vigna Montersino
Winemaker: Orlando & Giovanni Abrigo
Barbaresco, made from the Nebbiolo grapes of the Piedmont in north-west Italy is generally a softer more elegant wine than its heavier brethren Barolo. 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. Barbarescos have excellent aging potential.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet and ruby red with pink hues along the edge and a springy surface that sparkles with each swirl. Long slender legs when swirled vigorously.
Smell – Soft, smooth and elegant bouquet with great fruit including dark ripe cherries, blackberries, and a balanced hint of earth and spices including a nice floral quality.
Feel – Solid structure with medium, but smooth tannins that coat the entire tongue, a hint of dryness that is well integrated with the aroma of fruit.
Taste – Delicious dark ripe fruit, mocha richness, a hint of spice and pepper. The flavors in the wine evolve as it opens and exposes itself only with time.
Finish – Perhaps, the best part of this wine, the finish is long, smooth, rich and leaves you inviting another sip.
Conclusion – Don’t misunderstand, this is indeed a big wine but it is exceptionally balanced and its flavors are well integrated. This wine is the perfect accompaniment to an Italian meal of wild game, meat and pasta with rich sauces, but also has the subtlety and elegance to stamp on its own.
The last time I saw Baco, she handed me a parcel at the Foligno train station parking lot as she speed off on her Vespa. I thought I heard her laughing, but couldn’t confirm my suspicions.
Only until I had opened the parcel she gave me and read her note, did I catch a glimpse of her passion for wine. Baco was a deep cover operative and was skating on the thin ice with a few of the wineries we had under surveillance.
HQ was deeply concerned that she had been compromised and after redacting the contents of her note, sent me back to check on her. It was a previously scheduled sojourn, but still, tension was high. We couldn’t figure out how Baco was finding such great wine values. Was she on the take? It didn’t matter to me, for the ends justified the means. As long as she kept producing great wines, I was happy. HQ on the other hand…
Arriving in Torino at holiday time is a treat in itself, having Baco meet me at the station with some Torrone, my favorite nougat candy, is heaven. Still short on conversation and this time in a dumpy Fiat he headed south to the village Barolo where we met Virna Borgogno, wife of the winemaker and proprietor of the Abrigo farm. Tasting flights of their wine was, dare I say, sinful. The wines were all spectacular. The Barbera d’Alba and this Barbaresco Vigna Montersino stood out.
Seeing how Baco interacted with the family removed all doubt as to her gift of finding great wines. In Italy, wine is life, and she was living it.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Montersino vineyards in Treiso can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
– The Wine Spies is the only wine retailer in the entire United States with an allocation of this great wine. Be sure to get a few bottles before they are all gone.
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Awards and Honors:
92 Points – Robert Parker – “Rich, complete with lots of berry, coffee and roses on the nose. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Big wine. Well done. Best after 2007. 200 cases imported.”
About This Wine:
This Barbaresco, made from 100% hillside nebbiolo grapes, is right now approaching it peak of perfection. This was a great year for Barbaresco, and this wine shows all the characteristics of intensity and finesse with complex flavors underneath the fruit base.
The Winery’s Tasting Notes:
Ruby-red, with a rich, complex bouquet hinting at vanilla and red fruit, together with sweet and spicy elements resulting from the wood. Smooth at first on the palate, the big tannins then make it slightly harder, with excellent ageing potential. Recommended serving temperature: 16-18°C.
About The Winery:
The Abrigo family have been tending vineyards for generations, with their skills being handed down from father to son.
In 1988 Giovanni Abrigo completed his wine-growing studies, and began working alongside his father, Orlando, in the family business. Giovanni set out first-of-all to implement technical improvements in the winery, with the aim of producing wines of character.
Subsequently the estate was extended with the acquisition of land and vineyards where the growing of new varieties for the Langhe, such as Chardonnay and Merlot, could be experimented with.
Today, the Orlando Abrigo winery farms around 25 acres of vineyards growing both traditional wines, such as Barbaresco, Dolcetto d’Alba Barbera d’Alba and Langhe Freisa, and wines of the new generation.
New technology has been introduced into the winery alongside more traditional methods, with automatic fermenters being used to control the temperature and optimize the extraction of the colouring substances for the red wines. Furthermore, in the ageing of the wines Giovanni relies on a combination of large oak casks and smaller, 225-litre barrels made of French wood.
Together with his wife Virna Borgogno, he is also involved in the running of the Lodovico Borgogno estate located in the village of Barolo, which is specialized in the production of the celebrated wine of the same name.
The “Azienda Agricola Orlando Abrigo” is a young, family-run company which has been successful in blending tradition and innovation to the benefit of the quality of its wines.
GRAPE-VARIETY: Nebbiolo sub-variety Lampia. -
Location: the Montersino vineyard in Treiso (300 m. asl) Facing south-west, with Guyot pruning (9-10 buds/vine)
Yield: 5-6 t/Ha Year of planting: 1970
Soft pressing of the grapes, followed by maceration on the skins for 6-10 days at a maximum temperature of 30°C. The wine is then drawn off and racked into small, new oak barrels, where it matures for 12-15 months.
After clarification, the wine is bottled without filtration. Store lying down in cool surroundings. Alc. by vol. : 13-13.5% Total acidity : 5-5.5 g/l. Dry extract : 27-29 g/l.