2016 Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco D.O.C.G., $49.75
Winery info: The Barbaresco district is located in northwest Italy’s Piedmont region. Produttori was founded in 1958 as an organization of 19 small growers. It continues to this day, and is considered one of Italy’s finest cooperatives, with nearly 60 members and some of the greatest Nebbiolo vineyards in Barbaresco. They produce this Barbaresco D.O.C.G. every year, a blend of Nebbiolo grapes representing the best of their vineyards. In top vintages part of the production is bottled separately as since vineyard offerings.
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo, aged 24 months in large oak casks.
Vineyard: Sourced from a selection of their top vineyards, with limestone and clay soil, rich in calcium.
Flavor Profile: The 2016 vintage tended to produce aromatic wines with exceptional balance and structure. This one is smooth and juicy, with notes of roses, wild berries, and a hint of earth. As it opens up, the flavors of bright red fruit and spice evolve in the glass, expressing the different characteristics of the individual vineyards from which it was sourced. There is a bit of tannin on the finish that will soften as the wine ages.
Availability: They make a good amount of this wine and it should be around for a while.
Drinkability: Give it a year or two, then enjoy up to 2030
Food Pairing: Perfect for hearty, gamey fare such as osso buco or lamb.
2015 Jean-Marc Brocard, Chablis Premier Cru, Butteaux, $47
Winery info: Jean-Marc Brocard established his small estate in 1973 in Préhy, in the heart of Chablis, in the northernmost part of Burgundy. His vineyard holdings have since grown to over 180 hectares and his son Julien, who has worked alongside him since the 1990s, has been instrumental in converting the vineyards to traditional methods and biodynamic viticulture. They sum up their house style as: “Force, fraicheur, précision” (Force, freshness, precision)
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, aged in large oak foudres and fermented with indigenous yeasts.
Vineyard: Butteaux, a Premier Cru climat (vineyard site) located within the larger Montmains Premier Cru designation. Its 45-year-old vines are planted on a steep slope that faces slightly southeast, a less common aspect in the region and one which moderates the cold temperatures while the gentle morning sun provides a ripening influence on the grapes. The deep Kimmeridgian limestone/clay soil tends to produce concentrated, elegant wines with good structure and notes of wet stone.
Flavor Profile: 2015 was a warm vintage by Chablis standards. This wine is deep in color, and amazingly complex, with aromas of toasted hazelnuts and oak spice and a touch of toasty yeastiness. It is beautifully rich and concentrated, yet balanced by good acidity, which keeps the wine fresh and food friendly with great finesse.
Availability: There is very little left of this vintage.
Drinkability: It is drinking beautifully now, or you could enjoy it over the next five years.
Food Pairing: Seafood, shellfish, poultry, or white meat, grilled or in a cream sauce.