Best Barolo and Barbaresco not distributed in the US?

We are visiting Piemonte next month and I would like to bring back some wine not sold in the US. What are your favorites that don’t make it to the US?

2013 Bartolo Mascarello, apparently (just kidding).

I’d always recommend selecting the wineries you know and really want to visit, then for each, try and find a winery within walking distance that you’ve barely/never heard of. Often these have been highlights, frequently for the wines, often for the people/hospitality and a good number of times where both are very pleasing/rewarding.

Not Piemonte, but I look back in particular to Daviddi vs. Poliziano (quite the David vs. Goliath). Daviddi had wines that appealed much more to my palate (yet were cheaper), hospitality that went above and beyond, and all from a winery that never gets a mention in the wine annuals / from the wine critics. I remain convinced that the critics find themselves focusing on similar lists of producers, ignoring some of the smaller ones completely.

There are such places in the Langhe, and I find a quick look at the website tells me if they are serious (rather than commodity) producers. Google maps is useful for discovering these places, but also the tourist office site has a very useful/informative listing. By all means take suggestions here, but don’t be afraid to take a chance on an unknown.


I deeply regret not buying any Lorenzo Accomasso during my visit earlier this year. His wines pop up in the US occasionally, but not in large quantities and at outrageous prices.

Did you visit him Scott? One of my most interesting visits, albeit also an incredible challenge to my Italian language skills over ~ a 90 minute visit. I think we just tasted 2 wines, and that in a very humble setting. A pared down to the bones experience, yet one I very much respected/appreciated.

Unfortunately, no. Although I cycled by his facility (up and down La Morra) a number of times. Believe he was out front during one of the descents.

My lack of Italian and his lack of English caused me not to seek an appt, but I had two bottles during dinner. Two of my favorite wines of the trip.

Or ask the winemakers at the producers you know who they would recommend that isn’t imported to the US. I’ve found the Piemontese very generous toward their neighbors/competitors. I bet you’d get some good steers that way.

I’d think not. As the song ‘Living in the USA’ says, “anything you want we got right here in the U.S.A.”.

Two I like that are not or maybe are just barely sold in the USA are Fontanabianca Barbaresco and Josetta Saffirio Barolo. Each one has a regular bottling, then a more premium one (Fontanabianca Sori Burdin, and Josetta Saffirio Persiera), which are all good.

These are not trophies or anything that will wow anyone that you own them, just good wines with some character.

We visited Fontanabianca, and it was a lovely place, with really steep, dramatic vineyards surrounding a modest, functional building where the owners live upstairs and make wine downstairs. I recall they have their relatives come out to do the harvest together. They make very pretty, almost feminine styled Barbaresco, though (WB trigger warning) they do use barriques to some extent in the aging.

Nicely done Ian. Thanks for the input as I can use this as well.

Not really a joke. Bartolo, G. Rinaldi, and Burlotto Monvigliero 2013 have shot up in price here, but not at the winery. If you can buy those there for a reasonable price, that would be worth the effort to carry back.

but note Jamie’s recent comments that Bartolo Mascarello effectively have nothing to sell at the winery, though there is a mailing list. An amusing comment about Rinaldi that I won’t repeat suggests that it’s difficult to get anything there either. Fabio has a fine range at Burlotto, and I hope isn’t constantly asked for bottles of his 2013 Monvigliero, ignoring the other wines he makes.

Same at Rinaldi by the way - nothing to sell there…

Rinaldi was selling for $$$$ at a wine shop in Barolo last time I was there.

A good stop for trying smaller producers is the local cantina in La Morra.
They have a huge selection of producers from La Morra and the staff has great knowledge about the producers. The prices are also ridiculously cheap and I believe they’ll ship. I picked up a bunch of small production Baroli there.

There are similar village cantinas in most of the villages, including Barolo and Castiglione, and/or private wine bars. So you can definitely explore offbeat producers there and see who’s worth visiting.

How are the prices in the Barolo cantina? Wondering if I should make a stop by in November. [wow.gif]

I’ve had some nice old wines off lists in Piemonte over the years. Had 3 different bottlings a few days ago in CA. 2008 Riserva, 2009 Riserva and 2009 Riserva Vigneto Rocchette. Flawed beyond belief. Undribkable. Sent them all to ETS and nothing was out of line for the normal test ran. Which meant it’s microbial given the faults these were showing. Hope that’s not the norm, though these were all from the same reputable source in the US.

I suspect it’s about the timing for the sought after names. My concern would be after the flood of tourists for the truffle festival in October…

Still plenty of good wines in the region outside the prestigious / rarities. Never a mistake to browse the shelves.

Only concern is conditions in the shops. Many have no AC