2020 Paitin, Barbaresco DOCG “Sorì Paitin” Serraboella, Piedmonte, Italy.
This vintage Paitin Barbaresco “Sorì Paitin” Serraboella is broad shouldered, dense and much more powerful than the previous two vintages, but no less attractive and rewarding, it again is slow to open, with classic Nebbiolo character, pretty rose oil florals, dried herbs and bay leaf on the nose and a palate of youthful and graceful layers of brandied cherry, damson plum, red currant and blood orange fruits. The “Sorì Paitin” Serraboella is accented with minty tea, leather, cedary wood, hoisin, baking spices, mineral tones, chalky stones and salty black licorice. All of which fold together with excellent detail, again similar to past efforts, taut tannin(s) underneath and an impressively long and lingering silken vinous feel and aftertaste. While the Paitin’s Barasin and regular Serraboella are extremely poised and rewarding wines, this one again rises above, making it always my first choice of the Paitin offerings, though I wouldn’t say no to any of them, and I highly recommend Nebbiolo fans grab this one. This Sorì Paitin Barbaresco needs some time to be its best, but with decanting it is drinking very confidently now, though like I have said before, I certainly believe this 2020 will gain loads more depth over the next 5 to 10 years. This Barbaresco comes from mature Nebbiolo vines that, as the winery notes, were planted between 1953 and 1980 and guyot trained, grown on sand and marl stratification called Formazioni di Lequio, which adds to the terroir expression here and makes this Barbaresco very compelling vintage after vintage. This wine is a favorite of collectors and this dark garnet/brick and ruby 2020 shows off this parcels most prized qualities, again this wine displays this terroir to almost perfection, it deserves its historic reputation and your full attention is required and a meal to celebrate it, with a hearty meat or mushroom dish to see all of its seductive charms in the glass.

Barbaresco’s Paitin, as noted here in my prior reviews, is based in Bricco di Neive, which is located very near the main Commune of Neive and set on ancient picturesque hillsides covered in vines, mostly Nebbiolo, and up nearly at a 1,000 feet above sea level. The notable Paitin winery was originally started back in 1796, when, as the winery notes, Benedetto Elia bought the estate, but things really got more serious after WWII when a later generation of the Elia family took over and rejuvenated and re-planted the vineyards, with a focus on quality and estate made wines. Paitin today has Giovanni and Silvano Pasquero Elia making the wines here, all sourced from sustainable vineyards farmed with organic and biodynamic methods in the Barbaresco zone. They produce a studied collection of wines, including Barbera, which is a sleeper in the lineup and one I also love and think highly of, plus a Freisa, which I haven’t yet tried, along with a Langhe Nebbiolo, which is a killer bargain, and these small lot Barbaresco offerings, as well as their prized Vecchie Vigne (old vine) Riserva. The Serraboella cru, one of the most prized sites in Barbaresco, is on the warmest slope, it is, as the winery explains, graced with unique soils, mentioned above, and is planted exclusively with Nebbiolo. The Sorì, which means the first place where the snow melts, is blessed with the first winter sun rays and allows for perfect ripening conditions. Paitin ferments and macerates the carefully sorted and de-stemmed Nebbiolo grapes, getting from 3 to 6 weeks in stainless steel, than, after which it finishes its maceration with what the winery calls the ancient technique of the submerged cap, which delivers full extraction of color and flavors. The Sorì Paitin Barbaresco is matured between 18 and 24 months in used wood, a combination of large casks, made of Slavonian and Austrian oak, with an average age of 15 years, to promote transparency, finesse and soften the tannin in the finished wines. These Paitin wines are serious and impressive efforts, I suggest getting to know them sooner versus later, especially this exciting “Sorì Paitin” Serraboella.
($68 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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