2009 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Barbaresco “Sori Paitin”

Hello friends. Price drop today on a category that doesn’t see very many price drops: single-vineyard Barbaresco:

Wine Advocate (Antonio Galloni): “($50); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

This is not our first Paitin offer. About a year ago we wrote about their 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo, and I believe it’s that 2010 vintage that is behind today’s price drop. There’s huge interest in 2010 Piedmont, since it was the first truly cool-and-wet vintage of the new millennium, defying recent trends towards warming. It didn’t hurt that Wine Advocate recently gave the 2010 vintage in Barbaresco 95pts (regional vintage scores; a proxy’s proxy if ever there was one). With 2010 Barberschi (Barbarescos) and Baroli (Barolos) beginning to hit the shores, importers are looking to blow through their remaining stocks of 09s.

So, whither 2009?

Well, 2009 was a warm year in the Piedmont, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a good strategy, when exploring wine categories, to focus first on warmer vintages, because they tend to push the fast forward button on the aging curve. While many Barbareschi hit their stride 15-25 years past vintage, warmer years like 2009 produce earlier peak-drinking windows.

As much as we all love Barbaresco, they can be frustrating wines, because they can be so damned unapproachable in their youth. Not this one. No need to cellar endlessly. Galloni says to hold until 2017, but between you and me, this can be popped right now.

Give it a few hours open (or better yet, a few hours in the decanter), and you’ll find expressive, drinkable Barbaresco, a rare treat. It starts with a nose reminiscent of an autumn trail in the woods: haunting floral and woodsmoke aromatics lifted above crepuscular leafy notes and cherry fruit and menthol. In the mouth, there’s that alluring combination of Barbersco’s chewy earthiness alongside the rich fruit of the warmer vintage. I want a big simmering pot of polenta. I want Italian sausages and blistered cherry tomatoes. I want to combine them all and pour a big glass of this. And then maybe take a long nap (fatherhood has increased the appeal of naps to near-Nirvanic levels).

First come first served up to 12 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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