2015 Ca’ Del Baio, Barbaresco DOCG “Vallegrande” Piedmonte, Italy.
I’ve been thrilled with the 2015 Barbarescos of Ca’ Del Baio with both the Autinbej and this full bodied Vallegrande are beautiful Nebbiolo wines that can be enjoyed in their youth and look like good and savvy choices for mid term aging in the cellar. The impressive Vallegrande delivers a smooth and almost flamboyant performance in the glass with silky ripe fruit and polished tannins that seem a hallmark of the vintage. As noted in my review of the sister wine, the Autinbej, Giulio Grasso’s Ca’ del Baio, was founded back in the early 1920’s, but didn’t start making wine under their own label until about 15 years ago, having previously sold their grapes to the famous coop, Produttori del Barbaresco. Ca’ Del Baio is an eco friendly estate in Treiso, in the Langhe hills near the border of Neive and close to Barbaresco itself, and quickly becoming a star in the region making a range of fine Barbaresco(s) as well as Langhe varietal wines. The Ca’ Del Baio wines are great values and pair well with regional cuisine and more robust and or rustic dishes, in particular I suggest searching out these two Barbaresco(s).
The lush and full flavored 2015 Vallegrande Barbaresco comes in at 15% which seems at first heady, but with it’s serious mouth feel and palate impact it still all works well with lovely texture, perfume and structure as well as good natural acidity giving balance and keeping the details fresh. Classic flavors cascade across the palate with racy cherry, plum, strawberry, tangy dried orange rind and sweet red currant fruits that are contrasted by savory elements with hints of game, wild mushrooms, earth and black licorice, adding rose petal and fresh picked mint with air. This Barbaresco was fermented with native yeasts and was traditionally crafted with maceration on the skins from 9 to 15 days in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures to preserve aromatics and fresh detail before aging for 24 months in large Slavonian oak barrels (boti), which was followed by bottle aging for almost 6 months. Grasso’s Barbaresco vines are between 25 and 40 years old and grown on the region’s classic gray marl, limestone, and sandy soils, on east facing slopes that helps with ripening, while still allowing purity of terroir to shine through in these wines, Ca’ Del Baio is a winery to stock up on, especially in a vintage like this.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive