Marinacci Barbaresco Riserva 2015

Manuel Marinacci

Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.

Our tasting impressions

A surprising wine filled with citrus perfumes that gain a well-defined floral top note with air.  Dry, very finely textured and feminine in the mouth, it has outsized inner-mouth flavors of citrus and red berried fruits. Supported by super fine-grained tannins, that makes it elegant on the palate. While certainly not at its maximum (it will age well for a decade or more), it is ready enough to drink. Tense and firm, though never aggressive nor weighty. Remarkably sheer and transparent with such vivid fruit, this invites one back for sip after lip-smackingly good sip. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.


About this wine

100% Nebbiolo from a single vineyard block planted in 2003, facing south by southwest in the south of Barbaresco. It rides the hillside down to the valley from 300 to 350 meters above sea level. Manuel believes Barbaresco shouldn't be powerful so he strives for a style of elegance and finesse.


The soil is calcareous rich in veins of blue marne, about as classic as it gets. The fact that the vineyard is uncommonly oriented north/south and its position, low on the hillside, allows the it to benefit from cool nights, aided by the stream just meters away that courses north towards the Tanaro river, carrying with it a current of cool mountain air. Full afternoon sun also is a benefit.


A spontaneous fermentation in concrete, for approximately a month, followed by 30 months in fairly large botte - 25hl and 35hl, of French and Slavonian oak.


About the grape

Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).


Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening) and at proper elevation (too low there is too much frost exposure, too high the grapes won’t ripen).


Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.


About the vintage

2015 presented many extremes including an arctic winter and a scorching July. Overall, fine, very ripe fruit was harvested. Talented winemakers were able to manage challenges of low acidity.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

Manuel Marinacci

Manuel Marinacci is the quintessential farmer/winemaker. He would rather be in the vineyard than waiting on me. 


Located in tiny San Rocco Seno d’Elvio just to the southeast of Alba, Manuel Marinacci produces Barbaresco on the very southern edge of the Barbaresco zone. He farms ancestral lands that specialized in cattle. The stalls were converted to a modest cellar for his 4 hectare estate that produces Dolcetto and Barbera as well as Nebbiolo. Total production is less than 20,000 bottles per year.


Manuel’s love for the land is evident, but he is a passionate winemaker as well. He trained at the enological school of Alba but has adopted a non-interventionist style. His wines are light handed, elegant, and explosively aromatic with an intensity to the fruit that comes with gossamer weight. He dislikes when people praise a wine but say it needs another five years in the cellar. That’s why he keeps his Barbaresco in botte for 30 months; his goal is to have a wine ready to drink on release. Kudos to him blazing this commendable trail!