Ca'Nova's Classical Barbaresco, and the Power of Great Terroir
“Readers looking for an affordable Barbaresco to drink now should jump all over the 2020 [from La Ca’Nova]. It’s a gorgeous wine in every way.”
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous
It has been a long time since we’ve been able to feature La Ca’Nova Barbaresco. These wines are just snapped up so quickly. Why? Because they are extremely delicious and they are much less expensive than almost all other Barbarescos of comparable quality. This time, though, we were able to do the snapping ourselves, and we took a good sized bite.
The La Ca’Nova story is not an uncommon one in Barbaresco. Barbaresco, much more so than Barolo, remains a land of very small producers that hand their domaines down from parent to child. Each domaine may farm only a handful of hectares, often specializing in just one or two of Barbaresco’s Crus. If Barolo is like Bordeaux, Barbaresco is Burgundy.
La Ca’Nova specializes in two of Barbaresco’s top Crus: Montestefano and Montefico. We are in the northern hills of the DOC, where the Nebbiolo produced tends to be meatier and earthier, and a little more structured.
La Ca’Nova’s work is 95% tradition: macerations are long, yeasts are all natural, and during fermentations they employ the Piedmont tradition of steccatura — where wooden planks keep the cap submerged in the tank (no fancy pump-overs here). The 5%? Their large casks for aging are made from untoasted Austrian, rather than Slovenian oak, as they believe that it is a more neutral wood…and it never leaks!
Today’s Barbaresco may surprise some readers. We tend to think of Barbaresco as a wine that requires aging, especially when made in such an old-school style. But the Piedmontese themselves are happy to drink many of their Barbarescos young, and this would certainly be one of them. While the wine will certainly age for several years, the fruit is just so captivating – so evocative of Nebbiolo grown in this part of Barbaresco – that you will find the wine irresistible today.
La Ca'Nova, Barbaresco, 2020 $43.99
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