“Of all the crus bottled by the Produttori del Barbaresco, the Rio Sordo bottling is probably the most rustic (in a good sense) in terms of its aromatics and flavor profile. There is more of a game bird aspect to mature Rio Sordo, often coupled to autumnal notes, smoke, porcini and plenty of red fruit and herb tones. Of all of the crus, this is the one that really cries out to be served with roasted meats, preferably on a cold, damp autumnal or winter evening. The Produttori’s Rio Sordo is certainly a complete and very captivating bottle of Barbaresco, with its “noble rusticity” very, very enjoyable when set in the proper context, and I find this one of the most underrated crus in their fine lineup.” -- John Gilman, View From The Cellar --
It took a sympathetic local priest to realise the only way for the community of Barbaresco to survive, in the poverty of the late 1950's, was for the winemakers to form a co-operative. The first 19 members made their wine in the church basement, but it didn't take long for this idea to provide them with solvency as well as solidarity. Quality too, as a more secure income allowed the individual growers to maintain the high standards they aspired to. Over decades the co-operative grew to it's current membership of 52, during which time it also developed an extensive and almost bewildering array of single vineyard offerings. Until recently the traditional labelling and less-than-dynamic global marketting strategy meant Produttori was strictly the preserve of experts. Nowadays however, as the world trawls Piedmont for both it's obvious and it's hidden gems, Produttori's delightfully backward labelling and proud obsession with qualtity are revealing it as one of the world's most profoundly undervalued wine treasures.
What The Critics Say
97/100 Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O'Keefe
"Fragrant and full bodied, this structured red has enticing aromas evoking woodland berry, balsamic aromas of pine, rose petal and exotic spice. The enveloping palate delivers crushed raspberry, succulent Marasca cherry, licorice and nutmeg alongside firm, tightly knit tannins. Fresh acidity lends tension and balance." Drink 2022 - 2027
95/100 Vinous, Antonio Galloni
"One of the stand outs in this range, the 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello shows the energy and tension that are so typical of this site, but with a slightly riper profile than is the norm. Then again, we are talking about 2015. Although perhaps not the most classic expression of Ovello, the Produttori's 2015 is very nicely done. Best of all, it will drink well with just a few more years in bottle. This is an especially heady, exotic Ovello Barbaresco that needs to shed some baby fat, its considerable appeal today notwithstanding." Drink 2022 - 2040
95/100 Decanter, James Button
"Ovello is the northernmost vineyard in the Barbaresco commune - and the largest. It was one of the original five vineyards individually bottled in 1967 by Produttori. The clayey soils and exposure to the cool northern winds gives this wine a full body and structured tannins. The 2015 features a woody, vanilla-toned fragrance with some delicate cherry fruit. In the mouth it's a latticework of well integrated tannins with lacy acidity draped over deep hedgerow fruits, followed by some subtle wood spice on the long finish. This is one to leave for a few years, but there's so much potential here. 17,000 bottles and 1,200 magnums produced." Drink 2024 - 2040
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