Tenuta Carretta, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG (Piedmont, Italy) “Cascina Bordino” 2015

($55, Consortium Wine and Spirits Imports):  With prices of Barolo and Barbaresco going higher and higher, this wine should be on every Piedmont-lovers list.  Its relative bargain status — I hate to call a $55 wine a bargain, but it is — could be due to the 2015 vintage, an excellent year overshadowed by the hype justifiably afforded the 2016s.  Maybe it doesn’t command a higher price because it’s not from an MGA (Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive), the Piedmont equivalent of what the French would call a cru.  According to Carretta’s website, Alessandro Mesanghetti, whose books and maps define the MGAs, says it qualified for an MGA, but no one claimed it.  Similar to how I describe great Burgundy, this wine has “flavor without weight.”  A floral component balances and amplifies its delicate yet powerful character.   It is more mineraly than fruity and a touch austere, in the best sense of that word.  Long and lively, its tannic structure is present, but not intrusive, befitting a great young wine.  In short, it’s a pretty wine with backbone and understated stuffing.  Barbaresco lovers, find a place in your cellar for it.
95 Michael Apstein Oct 12, 2021