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95 Insider Points

REVIEWS

It Keeps Going, and Going, and Going

This isn't a battery-powered pink bunny; this is one of our favorite Piemontese producers, back with one of our favorite Barbarescos. I had the pleasure of meeting San Mauro's representative in the spring at the Slow Wine event in San Francisco, and not only is their wine delectable, their team is full of grace. It was indeed a treat to meet Anna and to get to know their full portfolio. Needless to say, their Barbaresco is where most of my attention was diverted. It's no wonder we keep coming back for more, this wine is fantastic.

Leather, cherry and anise on the nose. Plum skin, black currant, cranberry, raw cinnamon spice and rosemary on the palate. Dark chocolate and black licorice through the finish, and more dry red fruits as the wine opens. Let breath 20-30 minutes for a full-flavored and layered experience. Drinking now through at least 2023. 95 Points - JZ Sept '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Barbera
  • APPELLATION
    Piedmont, Italy
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Decanter says: "It’s time for Piedmont’s ‘other’ great Nebbiolo wine to stop being seen as the perennial bridesmaid to Barolo. Barbaresco is just as good and (whisper it) in some cases better, especially when it comes to price".

This wine, directly imported exclusively by invino, proves that point precisely. A vintage similar in quality to the already legendary 2010s, this pure Barbaressco flaunts the fact the varietal has never been better. A gem that very well may have slipped under the radar had our Sourcing Team not been in the right place at the right time.

Wine is a way of life for Mauro Bianco and his family, which is exactly how it should be in this storied region. The Mauro clan makes just a handful of wines, with their Barbaresco being the cream of the crop.

Aging at this estate is done in 100% French oak—half in barriques and half in larger neutral barrels for the ideal hint of toast and spice. After 24 months, the wine is transferred to tank and ready for one additional year in the cellar before its release. Entering peak drinking now, this 2013 (an excellent vintage in Piedmonte) is 100% true to the Barbaresco name with gorgeous rose and compote aromatic leading to a palate of grippy tannin, darkest red cherries and mineral. Elegant and deceptively light on the tongue, this Italian classic sports a finish that is very nearly never ending.

·    The 2013 vintage in Piedmonte was excellent, earning 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast and Jancis Robinson reports: “The prognosis is for a vintage similar in quality to the already legendary 2010s.”

·    For their Barbaresco, Tenuta San Mauro sources estate vineyards in the cru Canova Neive.

·    Modern winemaking is the key to this pristine red, meaning primary and secondary fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel.

·    Harvest in this northern (and foggy) appellation takes place late—well into October to ensure the grapes are at peak ripeness.

TASTING NOTES 

From the winery:

Very structured with hints of minerals and spice balanced with soft tannins and elegant.

INSIDE FACT:
What do you think is the best Italian wine of all time? It’s not a Barolo, a Brunello di Montalcino, an Amarone or a SuperTuscan. Stumped? It’s a Barbaresco. Yes, really. Italy’s best-ever wine is the now-legendary 1971 Santo Stefano Barbaresco Riserva Speciale made by Bruno Giacosa, widely acknowledged as the country’s ultimate expression of power, balance and refinement.]

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

On the crest of the hill, the territory of Castagnole Lanze, stands the San Mauro wine farm. Is the wine farm of Mauro Bianco and family that boasts a whole, between the areas of Asti and Alba district, a property of 70 hectares, of which 40 are vineyards and 30 with grass, trees and wood. Our vineyards, cultivated mainly by the Guyot system, produce wines with Denomination of Controlled Origin and Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin.

Ours is an old family passion. From Mom Clara, Mauro took the pleasure of wine with the defense of the authenticity at all costs, from dad Ettore, took the love for the land, for the ancient agriculture, its traditions, its values. Tradition and challenge is the motto of the family.