2010 Giuseppe Cortese "Rabaja" Barbaresco

SKU #1156541 94 points James Suckling

 There's a purity of fruit to this young Barbaresco with loads of strawberry and rose-petal character. It's full-bodied, with ripe, silky tannins and very pretty berry and lemon-rind aftertaste. It needs at least three or four years to soften: better in 2017.  (4/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The Cortese winemaking moxie really comes through in the gorgeous 2010 Barbaresco Rabaja. Notable elegance and finesse characterize the wine both in the mouth and on the nose. It shows harmony and clarity with defined nuances of dried berry, cassis, spice, dried mint and licorice that lift beautifully from the glass. The fine texture and polished mouthfeel are especially impressive. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025. (ML)  (6/2013)

94 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2014* Bright, with cherry, strawberry and floral aromas and flavors, this is backed by a firm yet integrated underlying structure. Beautifully poised for development, so hands off for now. Juicy and long, delivering a lingering aftertaste of cherry, spice and mineral. Best from 2015 through 2027. (BS)  (2/2014)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 From one of Barbaresco’s top estates, this single-vineyard bottling has intensely floral and balsamic fragrances and delicious cherry-berry and spice flavors. Its tannins are firm but elegant, and while still tightly wound, this will be drinking beautifully after 2015. (KO)  (9/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Knockout nose combines raspberry, musky coffee, licorice, smoky minerals, medicinal herbs and blood orange; elegant and complex. Then juicy, tight and youthfully bound-up in the mouth, with strong acidity energizing the wine but keeping its fruit under wraps today. Finishes high-pitched and very long, with serious, tactile tannins calling for at least a few years of patience. This classic vintage of Rabaja should evolve slowly and last very well. 92(+?) points (ST)  (11/2013)

92 points Vinous

 A deceptively medium-bodied wine, Cortese's 2010 Barbaresco Rabajà wraps around the palate with an exotic melange of aromas and flavors. Smoke, incense, new leather, espresso, rose petals, black cherries, plums and menthol all come through in a powerful, mysterious Barbaresco. The 2010 is quite dark and brooding in its personality, but also relatively approachable for such a serious wine, with less of tannic spine and explosiveness of some previous years. I expect the 2010 will drink well with minimum cellaring since the tannins are already quite soft within the context of Barbaresco. In 2010, Cortese opted to skip their Riserva, so all the best juice went into the straight bottling, which remains one of the best values in top-notch Barbaresco. (AG)  (10/2013)

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Price: $39.99
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- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
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- Barbaresco is a small village in Piedmont rising up out of the plain to sit in the Langhe hills. Here they produce a 100% Nebbiolo wine that takes its name from the village. Barbaresco is a serious wine of power and depth with an ability to age for multiple decades. Often thought of as the feminine version of Barolo, Barbaresco is a dramatically smaller region than its cousin. Barbaresco can only be produced within 1265 acres, and a maximum of 85,000 cases per year can be produced from the more than 500 growers. It is separated into four different communes of which three dominate, Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso. Angelo Gaja is perhaps one of the best known producers in the wine world, let alone Barbaresco, lives in the village. Recent technological and viticultural advances have made the wines more consistent, deeper in color and more flavorful. A wine of great perfume, the classic nose is "tar and roses", and complexity. Barbaresco is best served with roast meats, game birds or powerful cheese.