The extraordinary thing is we have known Ivan Rivetti for some time and have regularly shared a glass in our local wine bars. His nebbiolo (Barbaresco) vineyard almost overlooks our house but we hadn’t visited his cantina, which is less than 1km away as the crow flows, until last week.Pure carelessness!
One of the things that makes a visit to the cantina an absolute must is the availability of older vintages at exceptional prices. Barbareso Bricco is available for every year since 1988 (except 91,2,3 & 4 and the best forgotten 2002) and the Micca from 2000. Prices range from €14.40 to €18.80 with the 3 oldest vintages at c€29. Similarly the Alabarda Barbera d’Alba with 1990, 1996-2004 excepting again 2002 available at €9-13.
We arrived to be greeted by most of their 10 dogs, some of whom joined us at the tasting in a very well behaved and seemingly knowledgeable manner. There is always a home with us for Willy (the border collie) and Bos (golden labrador)!
If you like the wine, which we do, this could be a one-stop cantina. The whites consisted of the Ivan Brut (metodo classico) 2006 which is 85% pinot nero/15% Pinot Grigio at €14), an excellent straightforward bollecine, followed by the dry, buttery and rounded 2009 Briccodorro Arneis (€6.50), already a favourite! Also a new favourite, La Valletta 2007 chardonnay (€9). This delicious soft rounded wine had spent 18months in barrique and was full of citrus fruits (grapefuit) and not in any sense over-oaked. A delightful change to the usual simple local chardonnays. It is surely destined for serious dinner parties rather than aperitivos.
The 2001 Barbera d’Alba Alabarda is a steal at €9. 3 years in wood (not all barrique) and 2 years in bottle before release has produced a wine that still has plenty of life. A lovely ripe fruit nose (raspberry) and light tobacco/tar. I will be back before it sells out. We also sampled the excellent 1989 Bricco de Neueis (€28.50) and the 2001 Bricco Riserva Barbareschi (€17). Thank you Ivan for a fantastic tasting and also for the home made salami, aged Tuma, and Mama’s Cugna made from Nebbiolo and Moscato using a handed down family recipe.