A holy santo stefano from a great traditionalist

This estate has been selling their fruit from the great Santo Stefano vineyard to the famous Bruno Giacosa for several years. Noteworthy is, that the grapes for this wine has been the best of Giacosa’s range since 1964, even including the mythical Asili according to many critics around the world, but lately the Stupino brothers have decided to produce everything themselves from the 2012 vintage. They put Albesani on the label since they want the customer to know that this is an important lieu-dit in the Santo Stefano vineyard. After thorough selection, this wine undergoes 12 days of maceration. The estate ages the wine in barriques for 24 months in barriques, one year in neutral botte and one year in bottle before it is released to the market. We don’t know if any new toasted oak is employed for this barbaresco, but we have not noticed any, so we assume 2nd passage only or at least a very low portion. First bottling of this vineyard was in 1971 and the vineyard is about 40 years old now.


Castello di Neive Santo Stefano 2007 Barbaresco

When you open up this wine, it at first gives you the impression of being somewhat diluted and lack concentration, but give it a three hours of airing and it really opens up. I mean really gets to life!
The colour is very translucent deep ruby to dark red purple with clean, transparent edges.
After about 3-4 hours of airing, the nose is distinct and very special, delicate and offers seductive inner perfume as well as very detailed roses and the tar and asphalt. In addition, some balsamic fur, some clove and dried herbs as well as notes of mint and worn leather slowly arriving. Very impressive and deep complex nose indeed that reminds me of when Bartolo Mascarello is at its best which is quite a record of notice in my opinion really.
When taking a sip, it offers distinct layers of raspberry fruit and ripe, fresh and very pure wild strawberries, orange-peel, distinct anise, fennel, balsamic herbs, exotic spices pastry and loads of fine tuned lime minerals. Concentration is really good, but maybe just a little volatile. It is medium bodied and there is just enough power to lift it. The acidity is gnarly now, but energetic and balsamically fresh wrapping grape-peel after decanting and this just needs a few more years to shape up. Texture is fine sandy, dusty now, but the tannins are good, but lacks a little chewiness. However, they are ripe and not green. A really good soprano is offered in the persistent finish and fine tuned details in the base.

When the overly energetic, sulky acidity will calm down in a few years, we are absolutely sure this is a real treat, so don’t forget to air it for at least 3-4 hours. This wine is really forward, but at the same time shows the secrets of this magnificent vineyard. Even though we may lack some complexity regarding the taste, this is tiny remark and we are sure this will be great in a few more years, since everything is in here that we seek for; transparency, some depth, purity and elegance. Open 2015.

93-94p/100

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