Cantina della Porta Rossa Barbaresco 1996

Cantina della Porta Rossa Barbaresco 1996  - Les Marchands Restaurant & Wine Shop
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Cantina della Porta Rossa

Porta Rossa falls into the category, “One of life’s few remaining mysteries.” Not much can be culled regarding the history of the winery.  What we do know to this point is the current owner/winemaker/oenologist is Pierfranco Bonaventura and he has a library of back vintages available to the mid 1990s.  The wines are not represented officially in the USA. They only make the leap across the pond via custom importing in small lots.
1996 Barbaresco
From Master Sommelier Anthony Anselmi—“One year younger and far more precocious.  Still classic in the nose but far more fresh strawberry and cherry than the masculine tamarind noted above.  Feminine and flirtatious to be sure.  Rich and velvety and still quite youthful for it’s 20 years.  Gets better at the 30 minute mark and then hums into overdrive for a couple of hours.”
So with that, be prepared for an austere beginning and that iodine note in the glass. Between 30-60 minutes is when the magic should occur.
Unofficial Guidelines of Aged Nebbiolo
Many facets of life involve instructions that demand attention to detail, for example, The Rules Of Engagement.  In the more casual realm of the wine world we are happy to present our Unofficial Guidelines of Aged Nebbiolo, in print for the first time. These rules are not dispensed in the vein of snobbery or “one ups-manship”. It is merely a helpful process to elevate your enjoyment of these wines because aged Nebbiolo is an experience that can sear happiness into your wine memory.
#1 - Wait three weeks after your shipment arrives before consuming a bottle.
#2 - Upright the bottles you plan to drink 2-3 days in advance.
#3 - Learn the process for proper decanting of aged wines by leaving the sediment in the bottle and pouring the clear wine into the carafe. Numerous videos available to watch online.
#4 – If you have them, use Pinot Noir shaped stemware.
#5 – After 45-60 minutes these wines will start to blossom. Two hours in and we are not responsible for the pain in your cheeks that can occur from the extended smiles you will be experiencing.
A few fellow Nebbiolo fans agree that rules 1 & 2 are important because Nebbiolo sediment, when mixed up, produces overly tannic and oxidized notes in the wine.  When the sediment settles the tannins soften and the notes of oxidation disappear. Therefore, you don’t want that sediment in the decanter or in your glass, leave it in the bottle.

Technical Information
  • Winemaker Pierfranco Bonaventura
  • Country Italy
  • Region Piedmont
  • Appellation Barbaresco