Beautiful Barolo from Brezza, A Hidden Jewel in Piedmont
“Brezza remains one of Piedmont’s great undiscovered gems. The estate’s Barolos, made in a rigorously traditional style, show tons of vintage and vineyard character in the classic, mid-weight style that is the signature of traditionally-made Barolos.”
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous
We posted the same quote above from Antonio Galloni when we offered Brezza’s 2016s. Three years later, the next great Piedmont vintage is upon us – the 2019s — and Brezza remains a “great undiscovered gem.” It’s taking the world a long time to discover this gem, and in the meantime we can take advantage of favorable allocations and prices – which are barely higher than the 2016s.
When Enzo Brezza took over the family cantina he had the benefit not only of training with his father, but also with his uncle and godfather, Bartolo Mascarello. No surprise, Brezza adopted Mascarello’s traditional approach to wine-making: organic farming, spontaneous yeast fermentations, long macerations, and aging in large Slavonian oak casks.
But Brezza made two key departures from the Mascarello recipe. For one, he opted to bottle three separate single vineyards Crus. These wines hone in on each cru’s unique personality.
Also unlike Bartolo, Brezza’s wines complement the unapologetic Barolo tannins with a forwardness of fruit, an accessibility that makes them more fun to drink young than many comparably pedigreed Barolos. Brezza's wines showcase a softer, more accessible style of Nebbiolo.
That's not to say that Brezza’s wines don’t do well with some age. Cellar as much as you can, for sure: these wines will be spectacular in five, ten or even twenty years. But unlike so many top Barolos, which need 10+ years just to unwind, don’t be afraid to try a few now, and then again in just a few years to watch them start to hit their stride.
Brezza, Barolo Classico, 2019 $49.99
"The 2019 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level offering from Brezza. In fact, it's one of the best editions of this wine I can remember tasting. Bright, translucent and full of character, the straight Barolo is all charm. Crushed red berry fruit, orange peel, sage, mint and sweet spice all lend notable complexity throughout. Vineyard sites are San Lorenzo, Fossati, Ravera (Novello) and Bricco San Pietro. Fruit is harvested and vinified separately, then the lots are blended before malolactic fermentation." Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
Brezza, Barolo Castellero, 2019 $64.99
"The 2019 Barolo Castellero is a deep, beguiling wine. Deeply pitched spice, menthol, licorice and dried herbs meld into a core of dark-toned fruit. Virile and imposing, with notable inner sweetness, the Castellero is stunning. There's a bit of new oak influence, but it is not dominant. This is another superb Barolo from Brezza." AG
Brezza, Barolo Cannubi, 2019 $72.99
"The 2019 Barolo Cannubi is one of the best wines I have tasted from Brezza in a very long time. Sweet, perfumed and silky, the 2019 bristles with Cannubi character. Crushed red berry fruit, cedar, mint, rose petal and orange zest are some of the notes that grace this exquisite but potent Barolo. Give the tannins a few years to soften." AG
Brezza, Barolo Sarmassa, 2019 $79.99
"The 2019 Barolo Sarmassa is another impressive wine in this range from Brezza. A rich, virile Barolo, the Sarmassa packs a serious punch. Black cherry, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice, mocha, sage and underbrush flesh out in the glass. The 2019 is wonderfully deep and expansive, with tremendous palate presence and tons of character. What a wine!" AG
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