Piedmont lies 350 miles southeast of Burgundy – six hours, one country, and a massive mountain range away. But the two regions share a common spirit. Their grapes (nebbiolo and pinot noir) are both thin-skinned varietals capable of extraordinary subtlety and depth. Both communicate terroir as few other grapes can, and while we’re far more familiar with Burgundy, we’re often taken with its kindred Italian cugino.
Founded in 1997 by Angelo Sassi, the small Sassi estate is today run by Davide Carniel, producing just a few hundred cases of Barbaresco annually. Their 2018 Barbaresco is terrific – pure Nebbiolo from an excellent, ripe vintage. The wine ages for two years in barrel, then six months in bottle before release.
This wine is beautifully balanced, with a nose of violets, red cherries, black pepper and anise. The mouth is compact and attractive, with delicate tannins and a refreshing salinity, amid sophisticated and polished wild cherry fruit. The tannins are sturdy but fine, with intricate detail and a lovely, welcoming finish. Serve this as the weather cools.
Sassi San Cristoforo Barbaresco 2018
bottle price: $45