Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Three days with 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco, or, my continuing efforts to predict the future

Known by many as the best co-operative in the wine world, and as the main reason why Barbaresco became a separate D.O.C.G. from Barolo, the Produttori (as they are often called) have for a long time been one of the great producers of traditional Barbaresco. Their basic Barbaresco is typically solid and attractively priced. Their single cru offerings can also be quite good, though I have less experience with them. This post will only touch on the entry level Barbaresco.

Produttori del Barbaresco 2004 (Day 1)

I was not quite sure how to feel about the '04 Produttori. Upon first sip, there was all of the requisite red fruit and rose petals on the palate, with licorice notes on the finish. Very good acidity and fine grained, drying tannins completed the package, but somehow it seemed like something was missing. A bit of weight and gravitas maybe? Not that good, traditional Barbaresco should be a weighty, mid-palate staining wine. Somehow, though, I expected something more akin to my memory of tasting the '01 upon its release. This had been my introduction to the Produttori and my first taste of traditional nebbiolo from the Piedmont. And from a terrific vintage at that. '02 of course was dilute and tough to drink, '03 a little bit more meaty and savory, but also more simple and less edgy. So where was my return to form on the '04? Maybe the wine would show better on day 2?

Day 2

The wine opened up, but went a little bit tooty fruity and candied on me. More roses, manifested as turkish delight, but also a real confectionary quality as well. Tannins are still similar to day 1.

Day 3

Surprisingly, the wine seemed to close up and shut down. Red fruit became dark, licorice turned more prominent, inner-mouth floral aromas were slightly muted.


Hell if I know. As far as aging I'm somewhat stumped. This might be merely 5 year material but somehow I am withholding hope that it could be wine to drink in a decade. Guess I'll have to buy a few bottles and drink at 5, 7 and 10 years from now.


David McDuff said...

I don't know, Joe. My one-night stand with the 2004 Barbaresco left me wanting.

Scroll down to the last part of the posting and the comments.

It sounds like you were able to give your bottle more attention than I, but it didn't strike me as one to reward cellaring for more than a few years. Of course, given the egregious handling issues out there, especially in PA, I may have just had a wacked bottle.

Joe M. said...

Could be a handling issue, for sure. But I think you might be right - an earlier drinking Produttori. Have you had much experience with past vintages of this wine?

David McDuff said...

Not a ton, Joe, but enough to leave me scratching my head as to why there's so much esteem coming from respected quarters about the wines from this coop. Maybe I need to hold out for a tasting through some of their cru bottlings before passing judgment.