Vietti Barbaresco “Masseria” 2011
Vietti are ideal modernists. Their use of oak is akin to the masters in Burgundy – deft, noticeable, but clearly intelligent and enhancing of valuable qualities. But do not be fooled – while the oak imprint is noticeable Vietti uses both Slavonian and French oak for most of its wines, thereby blending the characteristics of both vessels. The winery has always been forward looking – they were the first in Piedmont to export to the US and they were one of the first to make single vineyard bottlings.
Blending Intuition and Science
Though Vietti are best known for their Barolos and Barberas, they do make a single Barbaresco that is well worth exploring. The Masseria is from the Treiso cru and 40+ year old vines.
Owner and winemaker Luca Currado employs organic farming over each of Vietti’s 25 single vineyards – an astonishing amount! Currado experiments between using technical means to achieve his desired results and intuition. For example, he recently stopped using chemical equipment for measuring Ph and tannin levels, instead trusting his own intuitive, wine and site-specific approach.
This Barbaresco leans a little more to the traditional end. While the malo-lactic completes in barrique, the long ageing occurs in Slovonian oak Botti for a total of 26 months (pretty much Riserva level).
The wine itself is a little tight right now, but the impressive architecture of the tannins is already noticeable and promises a tremendous future. Galloni has said 2011 is not a vintage for ageing, but I feel with this Vietti you will see greater affinity for the cellar than many others. The wine is on the more floral end of Nebbiolo and less on the walnuts and kirsch side. This wine is about expression and lightness more than power. It is elegant and suffused with a rare grace. An outstanding Barbaresco.
Excellent to Excellent+
$110 + tax at BCLDB