2011 Barbaresco, San Cristoforo Campo Quadro, Punset, Neive, Piedmont
About this WINE
Marina Marcarino of Punset produces an authentic and fine Barbaresco style of wine. Destined to be an engineer by a family in the construction business, Marina rebelled and headed to the vineyards on their 17ha estate overlooking Neive; following in their footsteps of her grandmother, also a ‘contadina’. Trained in viticulture, she turned the property organic in 1982, certified in 1993.
All the vineyards are grassed over, with the fruit being vinified traditionally in both cement and stainless steel, before being aged in a combination of used French tonneaux and slavonian botte grande.
Punset has three Barbaresco vineyards: Basarin, San Cristoforo, and San Cristoforo ‘Campo Quadro’.
The Piedmontese DOCG zone of Barbaresco is responsible for producing some of Italy’s finest wines. It occupies the same region and uses the same grape (Nebbiolo) as its bigger brother Barolo, but is a third of the size (only 640 hectares versus Barolo’s 1,700 hectares). It is also 50 years younger than Barolo, having produced wine labelled Barbaresco since 1890.
Barbaresco earned its DOCG after Barolo in 1980, largely thanks to the efforts of Angelo Gaja. The soils are lighter here than in Barolo – both in colour and weight – and more calcareous. The slopes are also less favourably situated and (relatively speaking) yield earlier-maturing yet extremely elegant wines that require less oak ageing (normally one year in oak plus six months in bottle). The appellation’s key districts are Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and Alba.
Recommended producers: Cigliuti, Gaja, Marchesi di Gresy
Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.
A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.
Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.
Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.
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We love the way Marina’s wines stay true to their provenance and vintage, clearly highlighting the differences and making them a delight to drink. The 2011 Campo Quadro is a case in point: the baked camphor, potpourri, dates and dried herbal notes recall the hot, dry 2011 vintage perfectly.
Yet the San Cristoforo Campo Quadro vineyard has kept its head, being that much more elevated, revealing a juicy, strawberry core of “sweet” red fruit, freshness and a slightly lower alcohol level than one might expect. This is aged in tonneaux and barriques, none new.
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