We recently held a major trade tasting featuring all of our wineries from Piemonte, Italy. Popping the corks on table after table of Barbera, Dolcetto, Barolo, and Barbaresco is an easy way to bring the top wine experts of our retail and restaurant scene out of the woodwork.

The room was packed, the energy and excitement palpable. As the tasting went on, we started to hear the buzz in the room … go check out the Paitin table. Those wines are soooooooo good.

Hearing buzz like that, especially from the caliber of crowd in that room, justifies all the corks pulled to showcase these wines – not only proving how enthusiastic people are to try them but that there is no better way to wrap one’s heads around such a storied region than to get to know these wines glass-in-hand and to compare them side-by-side.

Suddenly a Barbaresco is no longer just any Barbaresco. We find a familial resemblance between neighboring vineyards while we taste the differences among plots and between producers. From our own experience we decide which wines we favor personally. It is an intimate understanding only reached through tasting exemplary wines.

With the bottles emptied to the last drop, the wines of Paitin clearly made the grade but who are Paitin and what sets them apart?

Secondo_Pasquero_profileSecondo Pasquero of Paitin

History of The Paitin Estate
Paitin_cellarPaitin has a long running history stretching back to 1796 –a time in Italy when Napoleon Bonaparte is marching on Milan while here at home George Washington is passing the reins to John Adams, Jane Austen writes her first draft of Pride and Prejudice and Robert Burns composes Auld Lange Syne. Meanwhile these boys in Piedmont are busy focusing on wine growing.

In 1796 Benedetto Elia purchases the farmstead with its outlying wine cellar and vineyards from Luigi Pellissero and their story begins. Farther along Benedetto’s son Giuseppe extends the vineyards and acquires the underground cellar, dating back to XV century. As early as 1898 Paitin wines are exported and their Barbaresco del Sori Paitin, a wine we marvel to this day, was first produced in 1893.

Hundreds of years and many generations have unearthed a deep understanding and fine-tuned the family methods both in the vineyard and the winery –ultimately inspiring Secondo Pasquero-Elia to build a new cellar in 1965 and to gradually replant his vineyards to the best clonal selections particular to each and every parcel among their 42 acres under vine.

Today we still find Secondo Pasquero working in this cellar together with his sons Giovanni and Silvano. Since we first imported these directly to Minnesota eight years ago, Paitin has gone from strength to strength and for notable value.

Serraboella_slope

Tasting through the Paitin portfolio is invigorating. Paitin’s varietal Dolcetto, Barbera, Arneis and Nebbiolo stand head and shoulders above their peers out in the market –for their distinction, character and quality-price-ratio.

Definitive of each grape variety and true to terroir, these are far more than an affordable and tempting segue into Piedmont. Their greatest strength however remains three distinct Barbaresco that make lasting impressions –wines that we come to know and look forward to; Barbaresco to foster ongoing relationships.

THE BARBARESCO OF PAITIN

Where can you find these gems? Scroll down to find out!

Paitin Serra Barbaresco
Paitin Serra Barbaresco
The Nebbiolo grapes in this Barbaresco are selected from the great vineyard of Serraboella in the south of Neive. These loose clay marl slopes were most recently planted between 1981 and 1984 –with the youngest vines 30 years old, there are certainly no slouches here! A long standing calling card for Paitin and for the reigning Nebbiolo grown on these slopes of Barbaresco , this is very drinkable already, this pretty wine has a lovely bouquet of cherries and earth. Complex and elegant, this Barbaresco has lots to reveal as it sits in the glass — concentrated dark berries, violets, tobacco leaves and more. Tannins are delightfully approachable. If you can, open the bottle a little beforehand.

91 Wine Advocate: “The 2008 Barbaresco Serra flows with sweet rose petals, cherries, spices and minerals. It shows lovely overall balance and harmony especially in the energetic finish. The Serra is already pretty inviting, but it will be better with a little more bottle age. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

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Paitin Sorì Paitin Barbaresco
Paitin Sori Paitin Barbaresco
Made from select Nebbiolo from 5.7 acres of the Paitin estate vineyard in Serraboella in the south of Neive. Planted to southwesterly, calcareous clay slopes between 1953 and 1984, these vines yield Nebbiolo of focus and concentration –enough in fact to warrant aging the wine 24 months in Slavonian oak casks. Nebbiolo as a variety really grows and shows best from Barbaresco and Barolo but where Barbaresco has Barolo beat in some respects is in approachability but let’s not kid ourselves; little tannic Nebbiolo buds early and ripens long and late, can harbor astringent tannins until many years under glass, and conveys a complexity that even rivals the greats of Burgundy. This is no exception, a Barbaresco of savory and appetizing complexity with a spicy, earthen pomegranate fragrance; rich, tightly grained tannins that beckon for cured meats and rich cheeses; and a haunting finish that carries on and on with woodsy scents of the forest floor.

93+ Wine Advocate: “The 2008 Barbaresco Sori Paitin is graced with exceptional elegance and class. An exciting fabric of sweet dark cherries, flowers and spices emerges from this fragrant, polished Barbaresco. This mid-weight, feminine Barbaresco is terrific. It is another strong effort for the year. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

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Paitin Vecchie Vigne Barbaresco
Paitin Sori Paitin VV Barbaresco
Without question this is the crown jewel and Paitin’s crowning achievement. From a single acre of Nebbiolo planted in 1953 to the great Serraboella vineyard in Nieve are vines of a great age whose powers we have come to trust for their low yields of extremely concentrated character. If these hills could speak this would be a resounding chorus of what this great vineyard is capable. These are choice calcareous clay soils facing southwest –born and bred for great and noble achievements. Its Barbaresco always prove to flex at the bold end of the spectrum in both breadth and depth of fragrance and flavor –sapid enough that it is capable of 36 months maturation in Slavonian oak casks. The results are nothing short of remarkable and tell us just why Serraboella is held in such high esteem.

92 points Wine Advocate: “The 2006 Barbaresco Sori’ Paitin Vecchie Vigne flows with dark cherries, smoke, tar, leather and licorice in a fairly full-bodied style for the vintage. It possesses terrific density and energy that flows through effortlessly to the finish. The wine turns darker in the glass, as smoke, tar and licorice notes take on a greater prominence, adding further weight. This is another fabulous wine from Paitin. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

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WHERE TO FIND THE WINES

Paitin Serra Barbaresco
Call ahead for availability.

L'etoile Du Nord
Bayport
(612) 578-3944

Bellisio's
Duluth
(218) 727-4921

The Wine Market
Mendota Heights
(651) 452-9463

Monello/constantine
Minneapolis
(612) 387-1613

North Loop Wine & Spirits
Minneapolis
(612) 338-5393

Perron's Sul Lago
Prior Lake
(952) 440-1411

Scandia Olde Towne Liquor
Scandia
(651) 433-5845

W.a. Frost
St Paul
(651) 224-5715

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Paitin Sori Paitin Barbaresco
Call ahead for availability.

Sunfish Cellars
Lilydale
(651) 552-5955

Monello/constantine
Minneapolis
(612) 387-1613

Minneapolis Golf Club
St Louis Park
(952) 544-4471

W.a. Frost
St Paul
(651) 224-5715

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Paitin Sori Paitin Barbaresco “Vecchie Vigne”
Call ahead for availability.

 

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