Barbacàn, Rosso IGT Alpi Retiche


This is a stellar red from the very, very north of Italy. Made from similar materials to the Nebbiolos of Piemonte, this is delineated by its extreme position on the slopes of the Alps, and its sheltered south-facing vines.

Bright and juicy with delicious notes of black pepper and subtle spices over red berry, cherry and redcurrant fruits. There is a sublime, if delicate, perfume that really pulls you into the glass in a way that isn't altogether normal for Italian reds. But the palate shows more typicity with an approachable, fine tannic structure and mouth-watering, supporting acidity. Poised, precise and clearly delineated.

It's absolutely beautiful.

Open for about half an hour or decant it - you'll be grateful - some of the flavours can get held up in the wine because of the very pure approach to the winemaking. It's unfiltered, unfined and sees no suplhur during the winemaking process. A touch before bottling? Very possibly. But otherwise, this is wine that is as natural as it comes.

The Sega family (Italian agronomists, not games-console makers) are one of the few remaining producers in Valtellina who use traditional methods, right up against the Italian-Swiss border. Regardless of the efforts required to ensure successful harvests each year, their team traverse the slopes of their vineyards, which are extremely awkward and often seriously dangerous to harvest. Yet it is hand harvesting all the way, minimum intervention in the winery and only traditional grapes. In this case, it is almost entirely Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) and, though there are other varieties making this technically a field blend, it is very definitely a superb example of the Valtellina style, tempering and the north Italian Nebbiolos of Barolo and Barbaresco, while simultaneously offering freshness, elegance, concentration of flavour and better value for money.

The Alpi Retiche are a subsection of the Oriental Alps, that come down from Switzerland into the northern reaches of Lombardy. The web-like network of peaks that gives the Rheatian Alps their name is a spectacular and dramatic backdrop to the vineyards to its south, yet are more useful even than they are beautiful. This is because their height, breadth and variety, protect the vineyards below from seriously aggressive weather fronts. In addition, the vineyards are situated close to the foothills which ascend rapidly to the snow. In fact, the Valtellina DOC, which is the heart of the Alpi Retiche IGT zone, has a maximum altitude limit of 600 metres above sea level, which is considerably lower than the 4000 metres peaks about ten miles behind them. The other climatic reason for the possibility of vineyards is the south, south-west facing vines. These capture the sun's heat as much as is possible for the northerly areas to manage and on account of their granite-rich roils, there is a perfect, if boutique in scale, setup for the growing of seriously high-quality grapes.

Look at the picture. It's not a common sight from a vineyard.

Region: Valtellina

Country: Italy

Grape(s): Nebbiolo

Style: Vibrant, Sustainable, Pure, Perfumed, Organic, Mineral, Medium Bodied, Juicy, Fruity, Fresh, Engaging, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Biodynamic, Balanced

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Trout, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Salads, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Pasta, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef

Alcohol: 12.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.