SOLD OUT! We’ve long been fans of the wines of this tiny estate’s wines, but the 2015 Oltretorrente Barbera Superiore takes it to another level.
From the estate’s oldest and lowest yielding vines grown at high altitude on the steep slopes of the Piemonte’s Colli Tortonesi, this is epic, dramatic Barbera that easily competes with the best in the world.
2015 Oltretorrente Barbera Superiore
Chiara Penati and her husband Michele Conoscenti started Oltretorrente in 2010, after several years of working for more ‘conventional’ wineries. Their certified organic estate covers only 5 hectares in the sleepy village of Paderna — there are currently only 30 estates bottling wine here. In a good year, Chiara and Michele bottle 1,500 cases of wine total and they make 3 different wines. Let’s just say they are focused on quality, not quantity.
My good friend Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports brings this one to us, and I mention that as his wines have many fans at Table Wine. When I tasted this with him last week and he told me about it, my first question was how and heck did you get any? Oltretorrente harvests grapes for this wine from 3 parcels totaling 1 hectare, planted between 1920 and 1940. Fermentation takes place in cement tanks with indigenous yeasts and the wine was aged for 18 months in older oak barrels.
In the astoundingly good 2015 vintage, the estate produced a whopping 200 cases of this wine, and Table Wine seized 10% of that production! I’m not kidding, and when you smell and taste this amazing Barbera, you’ll understand why. There’s so much going on here — I’ll try my best to put it into words. There’s awesome richness and density here, but there’s also that classic Barbera brightness. The fruit leans in the darker direction, with a nice melange of dark cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant fruit. As it opens, more complex notes of sweet spices, rose petal, mocha, cloves, and new leather make an appearance. A wine of striking transparency and nuance, it possesses fabulous overall balance. Drink now and over the next 10 years.
This is easily one of the most exciting wines at this price point that I’ve tasted this year. You’d be hard pressed to find a wine that’s so precise and individual for twice the price.
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville