Cooperative Excellence: The Produttori del Barbaresco 2015s

Produttori BarbarescoThe mission of the Produttori del Barbaresco is simple: “Excellence in Barbaresco.” The 54 families who grow the fruit and own the Produttori farm just one grape: Nebbiolo. And there are few winemakers more skilled than Aldo Vacca, managing director and head winemaker, and his team at Produttori del Barbaresco.

Co-op, Reborn
Unlike most well-known Barbaresco estates, Produttori is a co-operative winery, one owned by its growers. The co-op idea came early in Barbaresco, in 1894 when Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, brought together 9 vineyard owners to make and market wine collectively.

Produttori vineyardAfter being abolished in the 1920s, Produttori del Barbaresco was reborn in 1958 when the head priest of Barbaresco’s church realized that local vineyard owners were unable to afford to make and profitably market their own wine. Today, the co-op includes 54 members and 250 acres of vineyard.

While the Produttori is a co-op, it’s not “just” a co-op – this is quite likely the single best co-operatively owned winery in the world. Just consider a few of the comments top wine critics have made about their wines over the past 20 years:

“The Produttori del Barbaresco is unquestionably a terrific source for Barbarescos that rival the best made in Piedmont. Although there is a tendency to scoff at wines made by cooperatives, the quality of the wines from this superbly run operation is as high as that from any highly committed, passionate estate-bottler… The Produttori del Barbaresco gets my vote as the best run and most committed cooperative regarding quality, and, most importantly for prospective purchasers, a source for exceptional Barbaresco wine values!” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, April 1994
“Piedmont’s cooperative winery makes top-notch values. Vacca’s cooperative has always paid its members according to the quality of their crop rather than the quantity. And that’s why it consistently makes outstanding Barbarescos.” – Jo Cooke, Wine Spectator, December 2006
“The quiet transformation that has taken place at Produttori del Barbaresco in recent years is nothing short of remarkable. Far from a sleepy, old-fashioned cooperative winery, the Produttori have stepped up their game big time over the last decade or so. The wines remain reference-points, though, especially in years in which the Produttori make their flagship Riservas. The Produttori’s Riservas remain some of the greatest values in the realm of fine, cellar worthy reds.” Antonio Galloni, 2015

Grand Riservas
About those Riservas: The Produttori’s “main” wine is its Barbaresco Normale, a wine made by blending fruit from across its members Barbaresco vineyards. Every vintage, the first question the winemaking team asks itself is, “What is needed to make the Normale a great wine?”

In exceptional harvests, the Normale shines brightly enough that the winery can carve out grapes from its nine great “Crus” or single vineyards and bottle them separately. The best fruit from each of these sites is fermented, aged and bottled separately. Winemaking and aging for each of the Crus is exactly identical, so the remarkable differences you taste between the wines is due entirely to the unique characteristics of each of these great sites.

The “Ultimate Lockdown Wines”
Like all Barbaresco, the Produttori’s Riservas are meant to age and develop gracefully in cellar. We’ll leave you with Monica Larner’s words from her most recent report on Barbaresco and Barolo in Wine Advocate (including these wines):

“The wines presented in this report are hitting the market as the world struggles to cope with COVID-19. Lockdowns, restaurant and retail closures and disruptions to distribution channels have severely shaken vintners’ confidence. For those looking to sell and promote new releases, the unease and uncertainty is paralyzing.

“This is indeed a bleak moment. However, as I worked to better understand these wines, I became profoundly moved by their grace, power and persistence. I am touched by their majesty and beauty, so carefully crafted by the thousands of families, winemakers, vineyard workers, cellar hands, marketers and sales agents collectively responsible for their creation. What I discovered while writing this report are wines that magically gravitate toward the metaphoric, as symbols of culture, territory, humanity and resilience. They are spirited and soulful wines that remind us what optimism takes like.

“Delivered to me during lockdown, these are the ultimate lockdown wines. They are profound expressions built for safekeeping. You should lock them down in your cellar for many years to come.” Wine Advocate July 2020 Week Three

Our 2015 Produttori del Barbaresco Offer
We’re offering eight of the Produttori’s nine Riserva 2015s. We have unusually good supplies of what are often considered the Produttori’s top wines: Asili, Rabaja, Ovello and Montestefano. But, really, you cannot go wrong with any of this year’s releases.

You can see the entire offering on the website at this link. If you’re having trouble deciding, shoot us an email or give us a call – we’ll be delighted to help you assemble the perfect set of 2015 Riservas for you!

Note that six- and 12-bottle savings are mix/match across the offer. Mix/match savings will not display on your online order form or confirmation email, but will be applied before your card is charged. If you have any questions at all, please let us know!

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