Rizzi Barbaresco Tasting

Held a small tasting of Rizzi Barbarescos over the weekend, we split 5 wines across two brackets aligned by their Cru - the Boito Riserva is actually made from the best section of the large Rizzi Cru in good years.

Some general musings on Nervo vs Rizzi - Nervo is far more open, fruit forward and the wines tended to be immediately pleasing to the crowd. The wines from the Rizzi Cru showed better balance and a more fine boned mineral structure.

We knew which Cru was being served in each bracket, however the vintage was blind. Everyone ranked the wines 1 through 5 and the 2010 vintage came through as the clear winner, with 2011 placing last. Personally it was very hard for me to pick between the 2010 Boito and the 2012 Rizzi for first place, both were outstanding.

Wines had a couple of hours to breath in the bottle.
Bracket 1
Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo 2010

Somewhat muted nose, long and balanced with glorious silky tannin, hint of dried cranberries and toasted nuts.
My Rank: 3rd
Group Rank: Equal 1st

Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo 2011
Open and fruity aromas with menthol and a touch of alcohol sticking out. Drying and slightly coarse tannin by Barbaresco standards, bold and fruity.
My Rank: 5th
Group Rank: 5th

Bracket 2
Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva 2010

Long, broad and velvety in texture. The nose was a bit shy at first but then started to build and showed very much like a high altitude Barolo with pine, dark fruits, spices and some leather. The intensity and wonderful texture was really something to behold.
My Rank: 1st
Group Rank: Equal 1st

Rizzi Barbaresco Rizzi 2011
Open, rich and fruity nose. Touch hot on the palate with drying tannins, good length.
My Rank: 4th
Group Rank: 4th
Rizzi Barbaresco Rizzi 2012
Mineral, fresh and gorgeous nose of red fruits - clearly a 2012. Red fruits also show on the palate with moderate amounts of super fine tannin. Palate is also quite mineral, fresh and overall a wonderful wine.
My Rank: 2nd
Group Rank: 3rd

The net result is I am even more convinced now that one should be wary of the 2011 vintage in Piedmonte. The wines tend to lack balance and show alcohol heat. The 2012s continue to impress if you are keen on the more fine boned wines and red fruit profile which typifies the vintage. I have only had a few 2010 Barbarescos but for Rizzi, it seems they had an excellent year.

I had a similar take when I visited the estate in September. Though I tasted the '11 Pajore and not the Rizzi or Boito Riserva, I found the '11 Pajore less to my liking than the '08, '10, '12 and '13s I tasted.

I am hoping to visit the estate in May myself. I like the Pajore cru based on other producers wines I have tried, should be fun.

Hi Murray
If you do, then do eat in Treiso. I’ve not eaten at Tornavento, which gets mixed reviews (from brilliant to bad) but definitely the place to go on a cellar raid. The other three place were all very good, and worth checking if your visit coincides with the Barbaresco a tavola event at Risorgimento - a good social setting for tasting 20 current vintage Barbaresco wines with food.
Also a very good circular walk there if you get the time - for us this is one of the great appeals, walking past or through the vineyards that produce the wine we drink.