2016 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Releases:
A fitting Tribute to Renato Vacca, an Inspirational Winemaker Who Will Be Sadly Missed
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This is an important new release of some monumental wines that  will surely be the foundation-stone of the legacy of a beloved and respected winemaker; Renato Vacca, who was taken by cancer in March of last year, in his prime, at the age of just 51.
Renato was a cousin of the great Aldo Vacca, the long-time winemaker at the Produttori del Barbaresco. Aldo’s encouragement and support helped make the Cantina del Pino one of the most exciting, distinctive and important new producers to be established in the last 20 years.
Renato Vacca’s 2016 Barbraesco releases are a fitting tribute to an inspirational figure in Piedmont.

Cantina Del Pino is a Personal Favorite and Highly Recommended
Scroll down for a personal recommendation of the wines.
2016 is an absolute ‘must-buy’ in Piedmont
Don’t miss out and don’t be frightened, you might think newly released Barbaresco needs 20 years to be drinkable but they are fascinating wines already. Yes, they are severe and need the right food when young, but they show depth and nuance like no others.

Antonio Galloni is off his stool about 2016
Here’s some choice quotes:
"The young 2016 Barbarescos are some of the most compelling young wines I have tasted in twenty years of visiting the region...Now that virtually all the wines have been released, I can say that  2016 is a truly epic vintage for Barbaresco. 
So many wines are off the charts...My advice for consumers is simple: buy as much 2016 Barbaresco as you can. Quality is extraordinary for so many wines, while the market seems to be more focused on Barolo than Barbaresco.  It’s a great opportunity...In the [Cantina del Pino] 2016s, readers will find gorgeous, vibrant Barbarescos that capture all of the pedigree of the year."
- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Barbaresco 2016           $45 per bottle
95 points Vinous: “The 2016 Barbaresco is a knock-out. And it is, for lack of a better word, the entry-level wine in this range. Freshly cut flowers, mint, cinnamon, red berry fruit and orange zest are some of the notes that lift from a Barbaresco that is all class. There is plenty of structure, but the purity of the fruit is so striking that the tannins are not especially noticeable. The 2016 is a stunning wine, that’s all there is to it.”
Barbaresco Gallina 2016           $60 per bottle
93 points Vinous: “The 2016 Barbaresco Gallina is a very pretty, approachable wine. Sweet red berry fruit, flowers, mint and pine all flesh out as this supple, mid-weight Barbaresco opens in the glass. Best of all, the 2016 can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. The Gallina is the most accessible of the 2016s at this stage.”
Barbaresco Ovello 2016            $60 per bottle
94+ points Vinous: “The 2016 Barbaresco Ovello is fabulous. Bright, punchy and tightly wound, as young Ovello Barbarescos are, the 2016 packs a ton of punch. Crushed rocks, mint, white pepper, sweet red berry fruit and anise reveal themselves with a bit of aeration. The purity of the fruit, searing tannins and translucent energy are what young Ovello is all about. This taut, nervous Barbaresco is classic Ovello and classic Cantina del Pino.”
Barbaresco Albesani 2016        $60 per bottle
95 points Vinous: “The 2016 Barbaresco Albesani is the most reticent wine in this range. I have seen that before with this wine, only to see it blossom with a few years in bottle. Powerful and tightly wound, the Albesani is a Barbaresco to cellar for at least a few years. At this stage, it is all acid, tannin and brawn. Super-classic in the best sense of the term, the 2016 really only starts to blossom with about 24 hours of air! All of the classic Albesani breadth and inner sweetness is there, it just needs time to reveal itself.”
Cantina del Pino; Memorable First Impressions
Cantina del Pino’s wines stood out from the very first time I met them at Nebbiolo Prima in 2011.
The brief, at that event, for about 40 or 50 wine buyers from around the globe, was to taste through the entire brand new vintage of Barolo and Barbaresco in a single week. Every morning, at 9am sharp we would assemble at the Consorzio Tutela in Alba and embark on tasting through 60 or 70 youthful Nebbioli, four at a time, in flight after flight, to emerge blue-toothed and scorched, for leisurely lunch to be followed by a series of producer-visits in which we would taste yet more, even younger wine from botti and barrel…and then to do that all over again, the following day for an entire week.

This is about the only kind of marathon I might enjoy, but it is somewhat questionable just how reliable any taster’s opinions can be under such an onslaught. The truth is, that under such circumstances, it soon becomes clear that the only wines that can stand out are those with a strong individual style and character.
The wines from Renato Vacca’s Cantina del Pino succeeded almost unlike any other, at that tasting. A frissons ran round the room as each flight containing a Del Pino wine was poured and followed by the gentle nodding and murmur of appreciation. Their tone of knife-edge elegance was arresting and memorable. It is a style which has become much more mainstream in both Barbaresco and Barolo in the decade that followed.

An Extraordinary and Distinctive Style
I can think of no other Langhe producer who’s wines are so pale and transparent as those of Renato Vacca. Across the range, his Barbaresco might be mistaken for rosé, so pale is the color, until, of course, you stick your nose in the glass… it is then you get a full and unexpectedly intense perfume of Nebbiolo. It is the dried-rose and violet kind, with a touch of wintergreen, and a hint of earth. There is less of the camphor or tar in a del Pino Barbaresco than is typical in heartier examples. But the stark contrast between appearance and character is confirmed on the palate with all of his wines. They possess a firm and sharp backbone of dry austerity, with the tannin and acid, together in abundance. But this structure acts as a vehicle to deliver those beautiful and delicate floral nuances through a long, long finish. – That is the house style and it is front and center through all of Renato’s wines, in every vintage. But the 2016s are something special. They are absolute show-stoppers and surely the best wines he has ever released, though we can look forward to just a handful more vintages that are still in the cellar.
- Michael Glasby, Courtier


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