My Most Exciting Wine of 2010: The 2005 Cigliuti Serraboella Barbaresco

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm pleased to announce the Wellesley Wine Press 2010 Wine of the Year - the 2005 Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella.  This is the first time an old world wine has been my "wow" wine of the year, and reflects how much I've been impressed with wines made from Nebbiolo - especially Barbaresco.

I first discovered the wines of Cigliuti at a tasting at The Wine Bottega (review) in late 2009.  Their wines sent me off on a Nebbiolo kick that continues to this day (more on that here).  There are a lot of fine producers of Barbaresco but I haven't found another for under $50 that deliver the intensity, flavor and all around excitement I've found in Cigliuti's Barbareschi.

In some ways Barbaresco is a mainstream wine, but in others it's still a niche category.  Most retail stores don't carry more than a few bottlings (try Vintages in Concord and Belmont, MA for a truly amazing assortment of Piedmont reds) and that's a shame because I've found it to be an incredible passageway into the wine of Italy which I often find austere and thin.  Most Barbareschi are thin visually but the better ones are powerful aromatically and on the palate.

Cigliuti produces Barbaresco from two different vineyards.  The Vigne Erte retails for $60 and the Serraboella for $75.  When the 2004 was beginning to evaporate from the market I was concerned the 2005 would be a let-down.  Thankfully the 2005 is just as good if not better than the 2004.  Only time will tell - we're admittedly drinking these wines in their youth.

Here are my notes:

2005 Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella
$75 Release Price
14.5% Alcohol
830 Cases Made

This is a gorgeous wine.

On the nose I get rich ripe raspberries, menthol, rose petals, and flinty Certs retsin action. On the palate some earth comes forward. Mushrooms. Chalky tannins.

Still shows some tannic bite even after a quadruple decant. Will benefit from time, but I didn't regret opening it now. Could be my wine of the year. The kind of wine you want to seek out and stock your cellar with. Can't recommend a wine any more enthusiastically than this one. Truly special.

96/100 WWP: Classic

Purchased from: Wine Library
Find this wine available for sale on: Wine-Searcher
CellarTracker: Currently a 95 Point Average

Further Reading:
Click here to download the Wellesley Wine Press Top 25 of 2010 in pdf.

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