Supremely elegant and light on its feet, La Spinetta's 2016 Barbaresco Vigneto Gallina is simply fabulous. Freshly cut flowers, mint, spice and a touch of French oak add nuance to a core of sweet red/purplish berry fruit. Wonderfully supple and racy, the Gallina captures every bit of the potential 2016 had to offer. This is such a gorgeous wine. I can't remember tasting a Gallina here with this much diversity.
Drink 2020 - 2030
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (August 2019)
The 2016 Barbaresco Gallina Vürsù is a streamlined wine that brings less to the table in terms of richness but more in terms of intensity and structure. The tannins here are well integrated, and there are some light notes of spice and tobacco, but this beautiful Nebbiolo still has a way to go. This vintage should look forward to aging gracefully. The wine ages in oak for 22 months. Production is ample with 10,500 bottles made.
Drink 2020 - 2035
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June 2019)
About this WINE
“La Spinetta” refers to the little thorn or spiny bush that grows in the area. The family initially focused on producing Moscato d’Asti, a sweet and aromatic white wine, which helped them gain recognition in the wine industry. Over the years, they expanded their vineyard holdings into Barolo and Barbaresco and started producing red wines, including those made from Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Sangiovese grapes.
La Spinetta is known for its modern approach to winemaking while respecting traditional techniques. They emphasise low yields and high-density planting to encourage concentration and complexity in their wines. Oak ageing carefully enhances the wine’s structure without overpowering the fruit flavours.
One of the estate’s most celebrated wines is the “Barbaresco Starderi,” made from Nebbiolo grapes grown in the Starderi vineyard. This wine showcases the elegance and power that Barbaresco wines are known for. The “Barolo Campè” is another flagship wine that exemplifies their commitment to quality and terroir expression. They also produce a unique and iconic pink Moscato wine called “Moscato Biancospino”, which has gained a cult following for its distinct character.
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.