One of the oldest and most famous producers in Barbaresco, Giuseppe Cortese makes some of the regions most classically proportioned wines from their eight hectares of vineyards, over four of which are located in the iconic Cru of Rabaja. Producing wines according to traditional methods but using the latest modern winemaking technology, Azienda Agricola Cortese has managed to bridge the gap between high quality and affordability.
With new vintages recently released and on their way to the UK, today I tasted a snap shot of their new wines with one of their main importers, Wood Winters UK.
Giuseppe Cortese Langhe Bianco DOC Scapulin 2019, 12% Abv.
Using spontaneous Chardonnay fermentation in stainless steel before being divided into an amphora, a stainless steel and a large French old oak portion in roughly thirds for 9 to 10 months ageing before being blended. The nose shows hints of flinty stony reduction with almond skins, limestone, white citrus and dried herbs. The palate is sleek, polished and textural with leesy, pithy almond skins, wet river pebble stony nuances and a long, full, smokey finish with just a hint of marzipan. A lovely gastronomic expression of Chardonnay. Drink now to 2028+.
(Wine Safari Score: 91/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Giuseppe Cortese Morassina Barbera d’Alba 2016, 14.5% Abv.
Aged for 18 months in French oak barriques and large oak casks, the aromatics show lovely pure red and black berry notes with violets, cherry cola, red plums and earthy strawberries. On the palate the vibrancy and freshness shines through with a well balanced, integrated lick of oak, plenty of sweet spices, red liquorice and a fleshy full textured red fruited depth that is creamy and utterly seductive. Impressively balanced and harmonious, this is a whole lot of classy wine for the price.
(Wine Safari Score: 92+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Giuseppe Cortese DOCG Barbaresco 2018, 14.5% Abv.
Only produced since 2017, this second release shows a lovely translucent garnet ruby colour and an elegantly restrained nose of dried herbs, potpourri, red cherries, cola, blood orange and a hint of melted tar. The palate is cool and supple, texturally creamy and mineral with a lovely full mouthfeel, bright tart cherry acids, sweet red berry fruits and a fine stony mineral red fruited length. Very accessible now but retains enough stony fine grained mineral tannin tension to make this wine age worthy. Drink now to 2030+.
(Wine Safari Score: 93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Giuseppe Cortese DOCG Barbaresco Rabaja 2018, 14.5% Abv.
The is a darker, broodier expression of Nebbiolo with plenty of black berry fruits, liquorice, tar, sweet truffle oil and tilled earth nuances intertwined with complex cedar spice and sappy sandalwood notes. The palate is bold and powerful with silky but potent mineral tannins, graphite spice, salty black liquorice and a long stony, pithy black cherry finish. A delicious expression that is surprisingly seductive now but will age for a decade or more.
(Wine Safari Score: 94+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)