Whenever I travel to a wine region, I have a technique for learning. I ask the same set of questions, typically three to five, to every producer I visit. When I visited Burgundy, one of the questions was, "What vineyard, that you currently don't make wine from, would you like to if price did not matter?" Every producer answered the same, it was astounding: Romanée-Saint-Vivant. A beautiful Grand Cru vineyard!
When I visited Piedmont, one of my questions was, "What producer's wines, that aren't your own, do you like the most or drink the most often?" Many of the producers answered the same: Giuseppe Cortese! I had never tried or even seen the wines, as far as I was concerned Cortese was a white grape variety. This producer was one of the most profound discoveries for me while I was there. The wine are lithe and seductive, yet, terribly inexpensive by comparison to similar quality producers and wines.
A native of Barbaresco, Giuseppe Cortese began a lifelong passion for winemaking by working with his father Giacomo in the family business. After several years of experience, he realized the future of high-quality Barbaresco wines was in developing the potential of the terroir. With this in mind, Giuseppe began re-orienting the family’s wine business and remodeling the winery, improving vinification techniques, and purchasing new land among the famous Rabajà vineyards. Giuseppe’s son Piercarlo joined him in the 1990s, after graduating from the highly regarded Enological School of Alba. Today, Cortese is the typical small, family-run winery, with Giuseppe’s wife Rosella and daughter Tiziana playing active roles in commercial aspects and public relations.
Barbaresco 2017 $37.99
This Barbaresco stands out for its harmonious, well-balanced expression, with a luscious floral-scented bouquet, magisterial structure, and lingering taste. At once crisp and elegant, with asucculent mouthfeelthis superb classic lends itself to immediate enjoyment or to medium/long-term cellaring.
Barbaresco Rabajà 2017 $57.99
This wine is made entirely from Nebbiolo grapes grown in Barbaresco's prestigious Rabajàvineyard, located in the Langhe hills just to the south of Cortese’s winery. To achieve the perfectstructural balance, the wine is aged for twenty-two months in seasoned Slavonian oak casks,then bottled and cellared for an additional thirteen months.