Taut and sinewy boasting cherry black currant grass iron and tar notes. Powerful tannins drive the finish which is compact for now. In the end this is lightly astringent but has plenty of drive and should find equilibrium with time. Best from 2026 through 2043. ?B.S.
One of the bigger productions (with 17744 bottles) in the Produttori del Barbaresco's portfolio is the 2017 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello. All of the Riservas in this vintage are characterized by especially exuberant and bold aromas and this bottle is a prime example. Cassis wild cherry tobacco rusty nail and licorice build intensity. The wine is tapered and silky in texture but it also offers a good amount of power (and 15% alcohol) to carry it through the aging process. Produttori del Barbaresco has been hitting it out of the ballpark these past years with a string of excellent vintages that resulted in the production of their entire line of Riservas. However that good momentum comes to an end because the Riservas were not made in 2018. That vintage saw all the fruit blended into one non-MGA Barbaresco. And with the 2017 Riservas reviewed here you might find these bottles hard to find. Production was 30% lower in this growing season because of a very careful fruit selection process. In fact Aldo Vacca calls 2017 a "roller coaster vintage with frost then hail then a summer drought."
The 2017 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is a heady explosive wine. I don't think I have ever tasted an Ovello from the Produttori with this much heft. The strong mineral and saline accents typical of this site are present but they are matched pound for pound by notable mid-palate richness and intensity in its fruit. The 2017 is a brooding powerhouse that needs time to unwind. - By Antonio Galloni on September 2021 Aldo Vacca and his team at the Produttori del Barbaresco cooperative continue to turn out gorgeous wines that deliver a remarkable combination of quality and value. This year's releases include the 2017 Riservas and the 2018 Barbaresco. "Frost and drought were challenges in 2017 but not excessively so" Vacca told me. "It was an early harvest but conditions at the end of the season were quite favorable. We were more worried about drought than heat. In the end we found the requisites to make our Riservas but production for all the wines is lower than normal. Two thousand eighteen is another story. Disease pressure was high throughout the year. There were some diurnal shifts at the end of the season then a week where temperatures warmed before cooling again. The wines lacked color and depth relative to stronger vintages." In tasting the 2017 Riservas are certainly very good wines. As often happens in warm years the differences between vineyard sites are less marked than they are in cooler vintages like 2014 and 2016. The tannins are also less polished. Time will help to some degree but the wines will always show the personality of the vintage. Time on the skins was four weeks (as opposed to five for the 2016s) with submerged cap maceration at the end. Aging was done entirely in cask.v
Menthol star anise and blue flower aromas mingle with botanical herb. The full-bodied palate recalls cherry extract licorice fruitcake and baking spice alongside densely woven fine-grained tannins. Drink through 2029. KERIN O?KEEFE