~ Nello Baricci ~

“TRADITION. HISTORY. EXPERIENCE. MONTALCINO. NELLO. MONTOSOLI. SANGIOVESE. FAMILY. FATIGUE. PASSION. BRUNELLO. EARTH. HANDS. WISDOM. CONSORTIUM. COURAGE. PATIENCE.  GENERATIONS. CULTURE. PRECISION. RESPONSIBILITY. AWARENESS. RESPECT. LIFE.” 

I’m not really certain that the nature of winemaking, the experience that’s so woven into the fabric of a farming family like the Bariccis, can be articulated any better than the passage above.  For the Baricci family, life begins on Montosoli Hill;  a small stretch of land just to the north of Montalcino centro, where the hill from the town itself protects the land from harsh winds and creates the ideal climate for cultivating Sangiovese.  
When you travel to Montalcino from the North, you will pass right by the entrance to Baricci.  The tiny vineyards are well maintained, the ground seemingly incapable of nurturing anything to grow.  It’s dusty, rocky and loose on top – composed of marine deposits, sand and clay.  Yet this complex, inhospitable terrain is the perfect environment for Sangiovese to thrive. The rock strewn soils allow for drainage and the vines dig deep to find the nutrients they need to survive. In return, flavorful grapes are born. 

~ Baricci’s Vineyards ~
Nello Baricci started his winery in 1964 and has now passed the reins of production to a new  generation:  his grandsons, Francesco and Federico.  The former concentrates on brand ambassador duties while the latter is the principal winemaker. They are the third generation to helm Baricci.

Francesco speaks with exalted eloquence for his grandfather Nello.  His stated goal is to continue to treasure and maintain his grandfather’s legacy.  In speaking with him recently, he reiterated that notion – to him one that is just as important as making great wine itself.  He says “I would be nothing without my Grandfather” and he is intent on not letting him down.   He needn’t worry. 

~ The Entrance to the Baricci Estate ~
Today we’re focusing on the latest release from the estate, the 2013 Rosso di Montalcino.  The wine was decanted for 30 minutes before dinner and paired with Rigatoni Bolognese. A few remaining swallows were accompanied by Parmigiano after dinner.  If you can’t get excited by pairings like these,  check your pulse. 

The 2013 is a medium ruby and displays all the traits you’d expect from a traditionally crafted wine.  After careful hand harvesting and no fewer than three selections to weed out inferior grapes,  the wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for about 12 months in a combination of 20 and 40 hectoliter barrels. 
From the glass, the aromas escape effortlessly.  Fresh crushed berry, Tuscan cypress notes, and powdery earth tones are noticeable and pleasant.  It’s an odd thing to say, but having been to the area several times, I can “see” Montalcino in this glass.  

On the palate, the wine is vibrant and fruity with red plums and berries that are backed by leaf tobacco and austere, dusty earth notes.  Tannins are only minimal and the acidity is well balanced. There is just a hint of soft wood notes on the finish.  While not as great as the 2012 – this is very well done for the vintage and a Rosso that’s crafted to be it’s own wine; not simply made from whatever wasn’t used in Brunello production.  Shop around, the value here will vary.  90 points.  About $25-$30.  Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample. 

~ The latest effort from the Baricci family is very well done ~

Salute!

 

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