2013 Cascina Ballarin di Viberti Luigi e Figli, Barolo “Tre Ciabot” Piedmonte, Italy.
This little known La Morra Barolo estate is run by the Viberti family, since 1928, and is in the hands of brothers Giorgio and Gianni, who farm their 7 hectares plots in La Morra, Novello and Monforte d’Alba to make this Tre Ciabot (three vineyards-three towns) cuvee, which is nestled in the Alba hillsides set on the “Blue Marl” limestone soils. The Viberti’s ferment in tank using traditional methods, from 100% Nebbiolo vines that are between 15 and 60 years old, then raised in mostly used oak cask, I believe French barriques, for 26 months along with a further 8 months resting in bottle before release. Imported by Vias Imports, Cascina Ballarin is new to me, and was shared at a recent tasting, Thanks Aaron, it was a bottle sourced at Cosco, and it really shined on the night, this ruby and brick red hued 2013 Barolo Tre Ciabot really over delivers for the price and is drinking wonderfully lush and polished with refined ripe tannins and mouth filling layers of dense fruit. Pure Nebbiolo character with tangy plum, raspberry, morello cherry and candied citrus as well as iodine, black licorice, earthy/savory elements, chalky stone and light cedar notes all come through on the full bodied palate, a while this wine doesn’t rise to legendary intrigue or elite status it is really good and easy to love, a steal for the price, no question and great for an introduction to Barolo. I would bet this will be a solid drinker for 5 to 10 years, though I doubt many would care to test it’s legs for the cellar as it is so tasty right now. Lingering incense, dried rose petal, kirsch and iron/blood notes add to the whole here in this solid effort from Cascina Ballarin, 2013 is a vintage to stock up on.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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