Seemed time to run through a set of 2013s. I was a little distracted this evening so my notes are a bit pathetic spare.

2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Riserva ‘Montestefano’. The first of my set of 2013 Produttori Riservas to be cracked. The richest, most concentrated, most tannic, and most complete wine of these three. I have not always been convinced that the Produttori wines deserve the critical acclaim they get, but this one is good.  That’s all I got.

2013 La Ca’ Nova Barbaresco ‘Montestefano’. I caught onto this producer a few years ago on account of Vinous, and have been consistently impressed. Galloni adores them, which makes it all the more surprising how cheap the wines still are. *bargain alert* This one’s got a lovely brown spice and fruit profile, drinking well already.

2013 Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco ‘Asili’. Dusty, red fruit profile, very clean with fine, silky tannins, Nice, elegant wine but a little nondescript after the monster Sagrantinos I was drinking the other evening.  I’ve been looking at this house as a potential nice value in nebbiolo — the wines are reasonably priced — but so far have not been wowed.

Learning: While they are distinguishable from each other, all three of these have a similar clean, polished style. They are elegant, proper wines rather than crank-it-up-and-let’s-party wines. I always think nebbiolo and pinot noir have a lot in common — clean red fruit lines, an earthy streak, fresh acidity, fine-grained tannins — and my Piemonte and (in particular) Burgundy-loving friends tell me I am crazy if not heretical to say this. But I still think so, and am reinforced in my view this evening.

Hypothesis: One hears about Barbaresco being the ‘feminine’ version of Barolo. Assuming one is Neanderthal enough to have an idea what that might mean, it’s something to be explored. Do we mean lighter-bodied, less tannic, more floral?  Certainly I wouldn’t have thought Gaja or La Spinetta would fit there. Then again I don’t really drink those wines. Fortunately, I have just the tool for this exercise…  Stay tuned.