Nestled at the very top of the impressively steep, vine-clad hills of the Treiso zone of Barbaresco, the winery’s vineyards were planted as early as the 1960’s in the white marl, calcareous soil typical of this area. An impressive selection of cru Barbaresci is punctuated by the spectacular Vigna Boito located at the peak of the Rizzi cru. The estate is managed entirely by the Dellapiana family with son Enrico as winemaker and viticulturist. Rizzi Winery participates in “The Green Experience” project which mandates guidelines for environmentally sustainable production.
Rose, violet and perfumed berry aromas lead the nose followed by whiffs of camphor and culinary spice. Full bodied, supremely elegant and surprisingly fresh for the hot vintage, the savory palate delivers ripe Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and crushed mint alongside taut, refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. Drink 2022–2032.
The Barbaresco “Nervo” from Cantina Rizzi is produced from their 3.8 hectare parcel in this Cru in Treiso, which sit up at the top of the ridge. The oldest vines here were planted in 1974, with further plots planted in 1997 and 2005. The 2017 Nervo is a lovely, classic example, coming in at 14.5 percent octane in this vintage and offering up a complex bouquet of cherries, red curry, spit-roasted gamebird, a refined base of soil tones, bonfire, rose petals and a topnote of fresh oregano. On the palate the wine is bright, complex, tangy and full-bodied, with lovely soil undertow, ripe, buried tannins, excellent acids and focus and a long, beautifully balanced and very classic finish. This is going to be a gorgeous bottle of Barbaresco when it is ready to drink. 2035 – 2080
Of these new releases from Rizzi, the 2017 Barbaresco Nervo is my favorite. That carefully assembled combination of fruit, minerals and Nebbiolo spice (with licorice and aniseed) is what I look for in a Barbaresco. This was not the easiest growing season by any stretch. The vintage was plagued by very cold weather during the first part of the year, followed by scorching heat during the summer. However, the folks at Rizzi have managed to preserve the freshness and linearity of that delicate Nebbiolo fruit. I would recommend a medium-term drinking window in the case of this wine, of which a precious 3,800 bottles were produced. 2022 – 2033
Treiso. Tasted blind. Lustrous mid ruby. Pretty nose of ripe cherry and raspberry. Great purity here. Succulent and concentrated fruit on the palate and with great focus. Perfectly integrated supple acidity and fine, coating tannins. Long, focused, perfumed cherry and raspberry finish. 2022 – 2030
Pretty, sweet fruit with strawberry, citrus and licorice aromas and flavors. Medium body, medium round tannins and a fruity finish. Balanced and pretty. Drink or hold.
The south-facing Nervo vineyard is located at an altitude of over 300 metres, which may account for its elegance. Ernesto Dellapiana and his son Enrico produce wines with a light touch, and their Nervo is aged in concrete tanks as well as casks. The red-fruit nose is intense and pure, and the attack supple and silky. There’s a taut structure here, and fine acidity that keeps it lively and peppery. This wine is marked by energy, stylishness, and persistence. 2020 – 2036