2019 La Ca’ Növa, Barbaresco DOCG, Montestefano Cru, Piedmonte, Italy.
Like the basic 2019 La Ca’ Növa Barbaresco, which I reviewed earlier, the Cru Montestefano, is a pure Nebbiolo that delivers a lovely and rustically charming palate of bright red fruits, spice, mineral tones and dried flowers that all fold together nicely, drinking fabulously well in its youth with no harsh bite, but with a stylish structure and complexity, but with added depth and grip. The color is typical garnet with ruby/brick hues and this Montestefano Barbaresco has an aromatic intensity that is elevated with rose oil sticky mint, a hint saddle leather, crushed berries and subtle spicy cedary wood. This is seductive stuff, firmer and more expanded on the full bodied palate with reduced cherry, damson plum, earthy mulberry and bramble berry fruits, as well as dried herbs, tarry licorice, chalky stones, forest floor and grilled orange peel. Again, like the last three or four vintages, it s hard to agree that for the money it is a no brainer and should drink well for 5 to 10 years. Luxurious texturally, the Montestefano, delivers a nicely balanced wine from this warm and ripe vintage. These La Ca’ Növa Barbarescos really got my attention with their 2016s, and their 2019s, while more fruit forward, are attractive Nebbiolos that are, as noted, impress greatly, and are very easy on the wallet. The La Ca’ Növa Montestefano was fermented traditionally 100% de-stemmed with native yeasts with everything done by hand using smaller sized open top barrels, as was done in older and simpler times. The maceration, as noted previously, is interestingly done with a large wooden spoon used to stir the musts, which the winery notes, is very difficult and time consuming work that helps extract a much richer color as well as more polyphenols. Before becoming a winery they were growers, even selling grapes to Gaja, until they began bottling under their own label. They prefer to age their Barbaresco in Austrian, rather than the classic Slavonian oak botti and the owners don’t have much in the way of modern technology.

The La Ca’ Nova estate, is a little family winery set in a farmhouse from 19th century, in the center of Barbaresco, it was founded in the ’70s, and is run by the Rocca brothers who split between themselves the different roles needed, from the cellar and vines to public relations and admin work. This estate, as mentioned in my prior reviews, has winemaker Marco Rocca guiding the wines here, with the property located just outside of the historic village of Barbaresco, producing authentically styled wines that way over deliver for the price, especially this famed Montestefano cru version. Marco’s main passion is his Nebbiolo parcels and his trio of Barbaresco wines, but he also does Dolcetto, Barbera, as well as a entry level Langhe Nebbiolo. All of which should be searched for, but especially the Barbaresco DOCG, Montefico and Cru Montestefano, as they way over deliver, they are fantastic at their price point. The winery has prized parcels, set on marl, clay and limestone soils, mostly within in the Montefico and Montestefano crus, as well as nice sites within the Barbaresco DOCG zone. La Ca’ Növa is a set up in an old farmhouse from 19th century, it is situated in the center of Barbaresco. The vineyards themselves are treated in full respect of the environment and farmed sustainably allowing for the natural vegetative cycle of the vines, with those at the Montefico and Montestefano crus being their joint signature wines and most coveted vines. This latest offering set from La Ca’ Növa is one that enthusiasts should stock up on, and at what they cost, can be enjoyed anytime, including for more casual meals, as they go well with a range of cuisine choices, even though best with rustic country or meaty dishes with proteins. Sometimes I get a bottle from La Ca’ Növa that is shy and needs time to unfold or comes off a bit Bretty, but mostly they have been absolutely brilliant and show off tons of personality, fruit, Burgundy like finesse along with savory elements and mineral charms, as this 2019 Montestefano has done with my bottles.
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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