Sottimano Barbaresco Cotta 2017
From a selection of 50-70 year old vines, this Barbaresco begins with density and impact. On the nose, the bouquet is filled with deep cherried notes, dried savory herbs, and pummeled rocks. On the palate you’ll find that the tannins that form the spine of the wine are fine-grained and the acidity offers an unexpected and refreshing lift. A long and lingering finish bursting with fruit and savory notes brings this wine full circle.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Blue flower, rose, camphor and baking spice aromas waft out of the glass. Juicy and delicious, the polished palate doles out juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry and star anise alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2029.
Drawing its fruit from a 2.8-hectare section of the Cottà cru in Neive with 50- to 60-year-old vines, this is a classic offering from Sottimano. The 2017 Barbaresco Cottá unfolds to beautiful intensity and depth. The Neive area suffered hail damage on April 15th, and we are lucky that this parcel was spared, enough so to render a 9,000-bottle release. This estate believes in long maceration times (the wine stays on the skins for up to 40 days) with no selected yeasts. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to happen at its own pace in French barrel, and the wine ages up to 24 months, with lees contact for about half that time. The approach is traditional and straightforward, resulting in a wine that is focused, detailed and polished with bright cherry fruit, licorice and campfire ash. I love the intensity you get here.
Andrea Sottimano and his father Rino produce wines of outstanding quality from thirteen lovingly cared for hectares in the Cotta, Curra, Fausoni, Pajore and Basarin crus in the Treiso and Neive townships. Their Barbarescos are elegant, evocative, subtle yet hearty. To taste these crus side-by-side is to reply with a resounding yes to skeptics of terroir that question whether differences of only 200 meters does matter! Their approach if one of minimal intervention: indigenous yeasts, no fining or filtering. Each of their four crus Barbarescos are given the same treatment to allow the uniqueness of each cru to express itself. Fermentation is done in oak, of which about 30% is new, followed by 18-20 months in neutral barriques. Every year they produce around 85,000 bottles.
Sottimano is firmly convinced that everything in the vineyards should be done in a serious and respectful way, with the only target of preserving the delicate balance between soils and the ecosystem.
Starting from the begin, together with many other wineries of this region, they have begun to fight the traditional diseases of the vines with natural, environmentally friendly products, and to avoid any kind of herbicides and pesticides
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.