Abbona Barbaresco 2008
The vineyards of Marziano Abbona, a vintner and farmer of great sensitivity and dedication to environmental protection, are set in the Langhe area, in one of Italy’s regions best suited to winegrowing. The winery was founded by Celso, Marziano’s father, who had the foresight to recognize the area’s potential for the production of top-quality wines. About sixty years ago, he planted the Doriolo vineyard in an area whose soil composition, exposure to sunlight and surrounding environment made it the ideal choice for the production of Dogliani Dolcetto wine. Marziano took up his father’s challenge and passion and, with the greatest care, patience and insight, he was able to produce wines of the highest quality, in which aromas and colors blend to give nectars reflecting the spirit of one of the Langhe area’s most highly regarded vintners. The same can be said about the non-autochthonous grape-based wines, in particular Cinerino, made from Viogner grapes, which is an extremely enjoyable, charming and aromatic wine. The great red wines, from the above-mentioned Dolcetto to Barberas and Nebbiolo in all its versions, represent the perfect blend of quality, balance, charm and structure.
A wine that most perfectly conveys the spirit and essence of its place, Barbaresco is true reflection of terroir. Its star grape, like that in the neighboring Barolo region, is Nebbiolo. Four townships within the Barbaresco zone can produce Barbaresco: the actual village of Barbaresco, as well as Neive, Treiso and San Rocco Seno d'Elvio.
Broadly speaking there are more similarities in the soils of Barbaresco and Barolo than there are differences. Barbaresco’s soils are approximately of the same two major soil types as Barolo: blue-grey marl of the Tortonion epoch, producing more fragile and aromatic characteristics, and Helvetian white yellow marl, which produces wines with more structure and tannins.
Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than in Barolo, primarily due to the vineyards’ proximity to the Tanaro River and lower elevations. While the wines here are still powerful, Barbaresco expresses a more feminine side of Nebbiolo, often with softer tannins, delicate fruit and an elegant perfume. Typical in a well-made Barbaresco are expressions of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, smoke and spice. These wines need a few years before they reach their peak, the best of which need over a decade or longer. Bottle aging adds more savory characteristics, such as earth, iron and dried fruit.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.