Teobaldo & Maria Rivella's Barbaresco wine estate is very much a 'garagiste' operation: for it revolves around all 2 hectares of vines (one hectare each) within the single Montestefano vineyard, over which they look, with vinification taking place under the house.
Montestefano is famed for its vertiginous slopes & white marne soils. Teobaldo is fortunate in owning 60 year old Nebbiolo vines, grown unusually low to the ground, though the canopy remains 2 metres high and the roots 6 metres deep. He swears by their low vigour 420A rootstock, while the clones are a 'masale' mix of compact Michet and leggier Lampia. He only uses copper and sulphur when treating the vines.
Teobaldo's father Serafino first bottled the wines in 1967, with his son joining him in 1974. The traditional approach has been maintained: the wine being vinified in static stainless-steel and some slavonian oak for 15-20 days using wild yeast before being matured in 20 hl old slavonian botte for between 24 - 36 months (over twice as long as the legal requirement).
Stylistically the wines fall very much into the traditional camp: their Barbaresco Cru Montestefano beguiles with complex spice, nut and tight red fruit flavours; it's a wine that elegantly caresses the palate; a subtle wine, not an impact wine, that draws you in and rewards you, provided you're patient. Ten year's old would probably be the ideal drinking age, depending on the vintage.