2010 Tintero Barbaresco

Hello friends. For almost every wine we offer through Full Pull, we don’t purchase our parcel until it has already been offered and pre-sold. Almost. But there are wines where the wine is good enough and the deal is good enough that we roll the dice. Today is one of those days.

We purchased every bottle of this wine that made it into Seattle. Well, every bottle except one. One was a freebie sampler, a sample that made the decision to go all in an easy one. Three main reasons this was a no-brainer:

1. History
We’ve offered every Tintero Barbaresco ever made (the 08, the 09, and now the 10), and I’m sure we’ve sold the majority of all the bottles of Tintero Barbaresco that ever made it into the US. Our list members know a good value when they see one, and it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to know that a Kermit Lynch-imported Barbaresco at a tariff oft-seen for Langhe Nebbiolos is a fine value indeed.

The winery was founded when Pierre Tintero, a Frenchmen, moved to Piedmont in the early 1900s and married the widow Rosina Cortese, owner of a small estate near Mango (location here). Whether Tintero married under the aegis of Cupid or Bacchus is lost to the sands of time. Regardless, the estate with his name has lived on, and it’s now run by the third (Elvio) and fourth (Marco and Cinzi) generations.

Back when we first accessed the inaugural vintage, here’s what the inveterately-knowledagable Lyle Railsback (of Kermit Lynch Imports) had to say: “Glad you got some and wish we had more to sell Seattle. Marco Tintero recently acquired this parcel in Barbaresco and had only 200 cases for us. The wine was so delicious and so cheap that we begged him for more. I visited his estate last year, he’s in the town of Mango on the ‘route de Moscato’. They’ve been farming organically since the 1940’s and make really typical, unmanipulated Piedmontese wines.”

2. Vintage
While 2008 and 2009 were fine years in the Piedmont, 2010 was a modern classic, reminding many vintners of vintages from twenty years ago. It was one of the longest growing seasons on record, characterized by cool temperatures and no major heat spikes. The best Nebbiolos from 2010 are breathtaking in their crystalline purity.

3. Cellar
There’s always the personal cellar to fall back on if we end up over-bought on this wine. If the worst case scenario is that I have to stash away a few cases of Tintero 2010 to drink over the next two or three decades, I can live with that “risk.”

Now then, one of the truly compelling aspects of this vintage of Tintero is that it doesn’t give up the goods right away (much like many a more expensive Barbaresco). It was after a few hours open that this truly began to shine, so please consider a brief decant if you’re opening this during the upcoming holiday season. But man, when this unfurled, it really unfurled, with all the tar-and-roses beauty of classic Babresco, paired to cherry fruit and autumnal dried leaf notes. On the palate, this has serious stuffing, with all the structure, power, and haunting beauty that only Nebbiolo from this particular part of the world can produce. Barbaresco will never be the finest cocktail wine, but to have with dinner? There’s nothing better. With a chewy tea-leaf finish that goes on and on, loads of bright cool-vintage acidity, and a terrific sense of balance, this has all the bones to age in fascinating directions. Wildly good for the tag, and it’s all ours.

Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests (we’re aiming for Monday morning allocations, so please try to get requests in by Sunday night). The wine is already in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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