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Although 2019 is generally considered an excellent vintage in Piedmont, the results of the Barbaresco tasting are quite heterogeneous. The year began with a warm and dry winter, but the spring was cold and rainy, resulting not only in late flowering but also an irregular fruit set. This was followed by a hot June and a balanced summer in which some of the backlog was made up. The ideal weather conditions in autumn finally made a relaxed harvest possible without haste.
© Barbaresco

Nevertheless, some wineries seem to have harvested their grapes too early rather than too late and were not too serious about selection. Some wines lack density, complexity and fruit charm despite noticeable alcoholic strength; the tannins often turn out relatively brittle and drying and the ethereal aromas so typical of Nebbiolo sometimes turn camphor-like green. While the best wines gain depth in the air and become smoother and finer, the less good examples hardly develop positively or even in the opposite direction after opening - they become more brittle and even greener.

At the top of the vintage, as far as we have tasted it so far, are some exceptionally fine and complex wines. They are Barbaresco as we would like them to be, with elegance, depth and, for all their power, charm. Many of them are so solidly built that they should be allowed to mature for a few more years, while others are already so beguiling and accessible that it would do no harm to drink them, if not this autumn, then at least next autumn - without having to hurry, of course. For while one can assume that the brittle and sometimes a little green wines will not be much more enjoyable to drink in the future than they are today, those that present themselves harmoniously even when young generally mature best.

We have tasted 90 Barbaresco in the past weeks, 70 of them from the 2019 vintage. All relevant producers were invited, but not all of them submitted wines, which is why some well-known top producers are missing from our list so far. Since, for good reasons, we never taste at fairs, presentations or on site at the producer's, we cannot fill the gaps like this. However, we will send out another invitation this year. We will submit samples later or present them in the next "In Focus: Barbaresco" in autumn 2023.

All wines were tasted blind several times in our tasting room in Erlangen. We present the best results here. Links to all ratings with detailed descriptions as well as the producers can be found at the end of each of the best lists.

In Focus: Barbaresco Vintage 2019

In Focus: Barbaresco Vintage 2018

In Focus: Barbaresco Vintage 2017

In FocusBarbaresco Older vintages

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