MCF Rare Wine Ltd.

A Barbaresco 'Surprise'

'Surprise' might be the wrong word here, but I think it still applies.

Here's why...

I've been aware of the terrific wines of Renato Fenocchio for some time now, but this 2011 Barbaresco Starderi is one that flew under the radar for me and, following a fantastic bottle I had last week, I knew I had to get it front of all of you.

As Emily and I enjoyed it at the end of a long week, I was struck by just how nice of an example of pure Barbaresco it was.

I think that, by now, we should all be buying up whatever 2011s from Barbaresco that we can.  The vintage is fantastic, most of the wines are fairly priced, and they drink nicely now and are only going to get better.

But, whereas many of the 2011s are bigger, denser and showier in terms of style, what I really liked about this Starderi was how much precision it showed.  It doesn't have that viscous, red, juiciness to it that you might find in other bottlings.

It rather shows more of that lovely, flowery transparency that makes Barbaresco so ineffable.  It's 'brick-y', perfumed, elegant, the details are precise and the structure is firm (a telltale mark of the Starderi vineyard).


With air, the wine opens up a bit more, but still only hints at the complexity you can look forward to as this one ages.

Like I said, it's not as flashy as some of the others we've discussed, but this is one fantastic bottle of Nebbiolo and it's easily among my favorites for the vintage in the sub-$40 category.

Whether you're looking for a case to chip away at during the coming cold-months or you're looking for a value to stash away for 5-10 years, this is a no-brainer.

I'm trying my best not to over-do my sales pitch here, but grab some of this while you can, you'll be really happy that you did.

Whether you know Fenocchio's wines or not, I think you'll be 'surprised' at just how good this one is.