A full bodied, smooth, rich and concentrated red that comes from the vineyards that immediately surround the winery, this single-vineyard Barbera is one of the most complete expressions of the wonderful grape that we have ever known. Black cherry, berries and currant flavours are met by integrated spice held together by supple tannins and a gorgeous underpinning acidity.
It is a really exciting thing to uncover a new wine and, for some, Barbera may not be one of the most familiar. But think of a full-bodied red that has balancing acidity and outstanding food-matching capability, and you're getting very close to the potential of this delicious variety.
This particular version has the benefit of a large gently sloping vineyard that faces west and north, the west ripening in the sun and the north keeping freshness in the grapes and making the skins thicker and darker - it's a brilliant selection of land and a superb realisation of the quality that this site yields.
It's the largest vineyard the Giorgio has and in many ways the most important - as you could imagine, with credentials like those listed above, this is a very popular and hugely successful wine: it's the largest that they make in volume and is probably the one that opens the door to most customers, leading them to the spectacular trio of single-vineyard Barbarescos.
The wine that pays the bills, but also the one that wins friends and influences all who come into contact with it.
Join the club - we have!
It is a hallmark of Giorgio Pelissero's winemaking that the wines are "digestible" as they say themselves, which really means that they are both approachable and excellent for matching with food.
Giorgio started working in his Great-Uncle's vineyards as a very young boy and the winery ad house attached is now where he and his parents live. Having maintained this incredible set of vines since the 1960s they are one of the few who have grown by buying up parcels of land hat suit the style of wines they want to make. The result is that Giorgio is now one of the largest owners of land in Barbaresco, and able to grow fruit for nearly 100% of the production requirements of the winery. It's not that this makes things easier - far from it - but it makes the quality higher and means that he can be in direct control of the vines from the beginning of one year until the end. The blame stops with him and so too does the credit! He's a proud man, but never conceited nor arrogant. He works as hard as anyone I've met in the business and deserves the plaudits he has received, many times over.
My first trip to the idiosyncratic wine fair VinItaly had me underestimate the time it can take to find ones way around a fair and also the amount of time it can take to hold a meeting. I was running late for the last meeting of the day which was with the eport manager working for Giorgio Pelissero. I ran into a booth that seemed to meet the coordinates of the meeting point and saw the wine-fair equivalent of tumble weed and a sparsely populated set of ramshackle tables and chairs. One man was standing behind a bar and polishing glasses, sleeves rolled-up. Cue: pigeon Italian from the hurried visitor "Hullo, sorry to disturb you, I'm looking for Giorgio Pelissero, do you know where he is?"; "Yes, of course," said the glass-washer, "It's me!" And so began a long friendship with him and his whole team. In jig-time a plate of Ravioli in creamy Gorgonzola and walnut sauce (Fact: I still remember it) was in front of me and all of the staff as well. We tasted through the wines and Giorgio sat next to me, looking on at this ruffled, slightly harried, highly enthusiastic fellow. The wines were sensational and they still are to this day. But the other thing that still sits with me is that, because it was the end of the day, many people were leaving the fair and made a point of coming to seek Giorgio in order to shake hands, pat him on the shoulder, give him a hug - he had the respect of everyone. Farmer, wine critic, fellow wine makers... and he made time for everyone, even me.
Style: Vibrant, Svelte, Structured, Soft, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Refined, Pure, Powerful, Meditation, Juicy, Intense, Full, Fruity, Fleshy, Engaging, Elegant, Dark, Crunchy, Complex, Broad, Biodynamic, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Veal, Tapas, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Sausages, Salads, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Pizza, Pasta, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Goat's Cheese, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Cajun, Beef, Barbecue