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> Region: Piedmont > Subregion: Barbaresco

Cascina Luisin, Nebbiolo, Paolin, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy 2016

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Cascina Luisin is one of Barbaresco's oldest and most iconic producers. Their wines hail from some of the zone’s greatest vineyard sites, and present an elegant but authoritative complexity.

Proprietor Roberto Minuto employs low-impact farming, retaining grass and vegetation and employing only copper and sulfur to treat the vineyards, except in truly disastrous vintages such as 2002 and 2014. The wines ferment without added yeasts in old non-thermoregulated concrete vessels, with macerations lasting between 30 and 90 days. Aging is conducted in large Slavonian casks custom-built by the renowned Stockinger cooperage; sulfur is added only when the wines are racked, and bottling takes place without fining or filtration.

Rather than releasing wines according to a market schedule, Roberto and his octagenarian father put their wines up for sale when they decide they are ready, which ends up being significantly later than most of their peers. Their 2015s and 2016s are released at a time when many growers are about to release their 2019s. Roberto has brought a level of precision and elegance to Luisin’s wines over the past two decades without sacrificing any of their gutsy depth or age-worthy concentration.

Luisin’s non-vineyard-specific Barbaresco “Paolin” comes from various holdings throughout the zone, but is built primarily around 45-year-old vines in the sandy south-facing cru of Basarin in Neive. It is gentle and fruit-forward, offering a sense of understated elegance wed to a mouthwatering mineral tension.

Rose, menthol, wild herb and forest berry aromas lead the nose. Linear and elegantly structured, the savory palate is loaded with finesse, offering dark fruit, wild cherry extract, licorice and orange zest. Savoury, cedar-like flavours play a part, and the spiciness of the bouquet is evident once again. Bright acidity lends balance and tension. Tannins are gently firm and there’s a minerality that runs right through the palate and lingers on the finish. Lots to love and approachable now, but it should really explode in about 3-5 years.

Country: Italy

Region: Piedmont

Subregion: Barbaresco

Grape: Nebbiolo

Type: Red

Style: Big and Bold

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