La Spinetta (G. Rivetti) - Barbaresco Starderi 2004
Tasting Notes and Scores
The 2004 Barbaresco Starderi is a knock-out effort. A dark, brooding wine it reveals an array of dark cherries, spices, tar and smoke in a powerful, sinewy style. With each passing moment, it seemingly turns more and more classic in the glass, with only the super-ripe fruit serving as a reminder that this is a more contemporary wine. The balance and use of oak are both masterful. It is easily the finest wine Giorgio Rivetti has ever made, and is also the first wine in the estate's history that can truly challenge for a spot in the top echelon of the zone. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.
This is a very strong set of releases from La Spinetta and proprietor Giorgio Rivetti. The 2004 Barbarescos are easily the best of his career. The wines still see 100% new French oak, but toast levels have been reduced and the Barbarescos now spend 12 months in oak rather than the 18 months they saw in previous vintages. Both changes have had a remarkably positive effect in allowing more site-specific character and Nebbiolo fruit to come through. The 2003 Barolo Campè shows that Rivetti is making important strides with this wine as well. Only the 2005 Barberas are disappointing, but that is not entirely surprising given the uneven growing season. In the past La Spinetta was an estate that relied just as much on style as substance. The 2004 Barbarescos, and especially the Starderi, are the first wines that truly live up to the glamorous image that Giorgio Rivetti has masterfully succeeded in creating. (Antonio Galloni)
– The Wine Advocate#173, October 2007
Displays intense aromas of plum skin, orange peel and rosebud. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Balanced, with a lovely texture. Best after 2010. 1,290 cases made.
– Wine Spectator, December 2007
(from a vineyard in Neive) Deep red. Rather elegant nose offers strawberry, raspberry, tobacco, truffle, smoked meat and dried rose. Lush, full and rich but with harmonious acidity and a minty nuance leavening the wine's thickness. There's a sweet strawberry flavor here but also serious structure and big tannins, giving it a suggestion of youthful austerity. An impressive bomb of a Barbaresco: I'd drink the Gallina first and hold this for five or six years.
– vinous.com, November 2007