FROM LE LANGHE TO AMERICA: THE STORY OF THE BEST RED WINE IN THE WORLD AND ITS PRODUCER
I was at Cascina Cuccagna for a Wineshow when I became familiar with “Basarin”, a Barbaresco Riserva vintage 2016, and its producer, Vittorio Adriano.
And I immediately realized that it couldn’t be any other way.
It’s a wine that speaks so much about him, that is so completely him that even by simply drinking it you get the impression that you’ve just had a chat with Vittorio.
A Barbaresco that is extremely elegant in the mouth, and just as sincere. It is never obnoxious and has no airs and graces about it (the woody element in the aroma is never invasive to the nose), in fact, it’s a natural gentleman. Just like its producer who, despite those rough hands, has the kind heart of a person with a real passion for his work and his wines. He also confided in me that the reason why he doesn’t employ an oenologist in his cellar is not because he has a big head, but precisely because he believes that it is essential for every fiber of his wines to contain his own signature, a piece of history of the Adriano family that has been producing grapes in Langa for more than a century.
Although the surprisingly soft tannin of this #Sage red makes waves due to its delicacy, the quality of this wine that really carries you away is its scent.
And in fact, as he taught me, the Nebbiolo varietal, especially in the aged versions such as Barbaresco and Barolo, should be tasted with the nose ….and with the heart, I add. Because I’ve tasted lots of good Barbarescos, but this one really blew me away with its immediate, clean aroma.
For Vittorio, this wine has a special meaning.
In 2019, the Basarìn 2016 – which takes its name from the Basarin Cru of the Neive area- was considered not only one of the 100 top wines in the world but also sixth overall and top of all the other Italian reds by Wine Enthusiast, the famous American wine magazine.
For many, this might seem like just another ranking, the latest in a long line of similar accolades.
Instead, for Vittorio and his brother Marco, who helps him by looking after the vineyard, it was the highlight of a life lived with great passion and dedication. An award that says you’ve made it, confirming that all the choices you’ve made, from the bravest ones – such as deciding once and for all, 25 years ago, to begin producing wine with their own grapes – to the more natural ones – like giving up providing agronomy consultancy services to other companies – were the right ones.
For the company and for the family.
And in fact, the first person with whom he wanted to share this feeling of immense satisfaction was not his following on the social networks but his father.
Just imagine the reaction of a man, getting on in years, who has always lived in Langa, when he hears the words:
“Dad, your Basarin is the sixth-best wine in the world!”
To know that one of his bottles had gone beyond the borders marked out by those hills, crossed countries and oceans to then end up on the tasting bench of one of the most prestigious American committees, where it delighted everyone.
Absolute madness, if you think about it.
And coming back to me, fortunately, that first glass I drank in Cascina Cuccagna was followed by many more, and I truly hope that the acquaintance I made then will in time become a real friendship.
Because I too, like all those who meet him, like to say: I’m a friend of Vittorio’s.
And the good news is ….you too can meet him at our next Wineshow Masked Tasting!!!