Nico Oberto in Rocche dell'Annuziata (with thanks to Joakim Rahberg)

Trediberri 2016 Barolo (and an amazing Dolcetto)

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Deprived (so to speak) of our perennial sojourn in Barolo, I’m behind on tasting the 2016s by a few hundred wines. However, in early February there was a big Nebbiolo tasting in New York, which gave us a chance to taste many 2016s in one place (this kind of tasting was once, long, long ago, a frequent occurrence!). In a very large crowd that included some popular favorites and many excellent wines, there was a dramatic standout: Trediberri 2016 Barolo Rocche dell’Annuziata. I tried to mute my bias for Trediberri by tasting it a few times over a long and busy afternoon: I tasted the wine, was wowed; tasted 20 other wines, went back, was wowed; tasted 20 more, went back, was wowed. Each time the wine showed a degree of precision, transparency, energy, and sheer deliciousness that overwhelmed the competition.

About that bias: my experience of visiting Barolo for 17 years in a row has made true an old saw: the more I know the less I know. I find the land and the wines endlessly fascinating and complex, and I can’t make a claim to any depth of knowledge about the land or the wines. We taste a lot of Barolo, both there and at home, and there’s little that’s more gratifying than ‘finding’ an exciting new producer. For us in recent years that’s meant Elio Sandri, Principiano, Giulia Negri, Camparo, and Trediberri – not exactly household names, but if fate and the weather is reasonably kind to them I think they will be, and it’s exciting to have high hopes for the future of Nebbiolo beyond the most famous wines.

Trediberri -  “the three from Berri” is Federico and son Nicola Oberto, and their friend Vladimiro Rambaldi; they started operations in 2007 and released their first wines in 2012. But Federico had a long career as cellar master for Renato Ratti, and he brought the family treasure of 1.5 hectares of Rocche dell’Annuziata to the new venture. They were lucky enough to find a 5 hectare piece of the Berri vineyard, which is the base for the Barolo classico, along with 1.3 hectares around the winery in Torriglione. Grapes for the Dolcetto (one of the best I’ve ever tasted) come from high elevation old vines outside the Barolo zone, and much closer to the Maritime Alps.

Berri is the green area on the left; Rocche dell'Annuziata and Toriglione are at the top right.                                 

I've been just once to visit Trediberri, on a day with tropical-level rain; aside from a few minutes at the edge of the Toriglione vines we missed getting to walk in the vineyards, but the wines were - are - memorable. So was our host, the inimitable Nicola Oberto, who gave up working in finance to come home to La Morra. That visit was indeed memorable: we tasted almost 20 different variations of the wines – different vineyards, different barrels, different SO2 treatments, indoors, outdoors – each was fascinating, and there are few people with the articulate and passionate drive that Nicola brings. What can you count on - as with all of our wines - is organic farming, no additives in winemaking (except very modest amounts of SO2), and a genuine desire that the finished wine be as direct an expression of its source as possible. Purity, precision, typicity, finesse - Trediberri's got it all. Jamie Wolff

Trediberri 2019 Dogliani Bricco Molea (Dolcetto)

Dogliani is a small town south and west of Barolo, which gives its name to a DOCG wine zone – a ‘Dogliani’ must be made from Dolcetto (life was a little simpler for everyone when the wines were called “Dolcetto di Dogliani”, but the marketers won that conversation). The zone of Dogliani, is considered the best area for Dolcetto (which not so long ago was more expensive than Nebbiolo) where Dolcetto was historically given the best sites, whereas in Barolo and Barbaresco Dolcetto is generally relegated to lesser positions in the vineyards – “Bricco”, as in Bricco Molea, means the top part of the hill, which receives the most sun and ripens best.

There are plenty of contemporary Doglianis that are an attempt to make what Italians call ‘important’ wines, and thus are dark, extracted, and often oaky; Trediberri’s Dogliani is a more traditional style, intended to be fresh and lively, a wine for food, for every day, to open a meal, to drink while your Barolo ages. But this is no simple wine, and it has remarkable aromatic complexity with bright current-like fruit, white flowers, chalk, and a deep savory aspect – altogether mouth-watering. It’s very appealing on the palate, light-midweight and with the fruit in balance with chalk, and expressing a strong sense of place. From vines that are 50-70 years old; fermented in concrete for about 10 days, and aged in a combo of concrete and steel. A killer Dolcetto!  Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Trediberri 2019 Nebbiolo d'Alba

Most of the fruit from the Nebbiolo comes from La Morra, with some additions from the Roero and the Alta Langha. Fermentations in concrete last about 12 days, and the wine ages in concrete and steel. The 2019 has a lovely and lively pale color; the nose is earthy, even a little funky, backed-up with bright cherry, and cocoa. The palate is savory and quite suave – but with good cut, and very ripe and gentle tannin – altogether an elegant and very tasty Nebbiolo. Nicola has the last word: “This unoaked, fruity and drinkable nebbiolo is meant to be an easy (yet not trivial) wine to share with friends during a nice and funny chat. Drink it slightly cold, maybe while sharing a platter of mixed charcuterie or with some lovely tajarin al ragù.” Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Trediberri 2016 Barolo

The Barolo is a La Morra wine, with fruit from Berri and (until the 2017 vintage) about 20% from Capalot. The vineyards are fermented separately in concrete (whole cluster, for about 21 days), with malo and aging in large Slavonian oak (Garbellotto, for you botte geeks out there). I’ve tasted the 2016 twice, about a year apart, the first from botte just before bottling. Both times have shown the great balance and energy that are the best aspects of 2016. Most recently the wine was showing quite savory, with some pronounced mint and cocoa, followed by a rush of fruit. The bottled wine shows much riper and rounder tannin; it’s very long and energetic, and while I think you could cellar it for a long time, it’s so easy to drink that I’m going to have trouble resisting.  I’ll have to buy some extra bottles… Jamie Wolff

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

Trediberri 2016 Barolo Rocche dell'Annuziata

I am crazy about the Trediberri 2016 Rocche dell’Annuziata. For a long time I didn’t realize that this vineyard could produce wine to love, because every example I tried turned out to be heavily oaked; then I encountered the real thing in Accomasso, and now in Trediberri. Their 2016 is truly exciting and (for me at least) greed inducing. From old vines (1955, 1961, 1999); fermentation (destemmed, in concrete) lasts about 4 weeks, and aging is in 25 and 50hl Slavonian oak (Garbelotto). I’m reminded of the best 1989s, which in my experience are simultaneously long-term, fairly powerful wines, but always showing great balance and transparency. So it goes for me with the 2016, already a complete wine, but certainly headed for greatness if you can resist it long enough. Less than 300 cases were produced… Jamie Wolff

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $86.99