Fontanabianca Barbaresco 1996
At the Fontanabianca Winery they have clear ideas: quality is closely related to the features of the soil in the region of Neive, where Aldo Pola and Bruno Ferro, with their wives, have been carrying on their work, which the fathers of (Franco Pola and Ottavio Ferro) started in 1969. The winery has been producing local grapes and wines for decades, even before being given the name of "Fontanabianca", representing a strong identification with the hills of Neive and a tie with this great wine region. This tradition is celebrated with the harvest year after year. Over the years the brand has been consolidated, thanks to the bottling of wine first and foremost and then to the promotion of wine through tasting events and fairs. The philosophy of Fontanabianca can be resumed as follows: quality wine can be called this way only if it mirrors the taste of the local territory. "We, the producers, are the first consumers, so we want to propose a taste that can be appreciated: the taste and perfume of Neive": this is Fontanabianca. The market has already shown its appreciation: the brand, signed by Aldo Pola and Bruno Ferro, is present in many foreign countries, with several awards as well. From the United States to Northern Europe, from Japan to Australia the Fontanabianca wine renews the tradition of a land made up of perfumes and great elegance.
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.