Established in 1971. Giuseppe Cortese continues to craft traditional Piedmontese wines from Nebbiolo. Giueseppe’s children, Pier Carlo and Tiziana, work the soils of 8 hectares of land in the middle of the Rabajà vineyard which is famed for its unique microclimate.
Southwesterly exposure helps the thick-skinned grape reach full ripeness, The Barbaresco Rabajà undergoes 20-22 months ageing in very well-seasoned Slovenian oak barrels – around 8-9 years old – followed by 10 months in bottle prior to release. The resulting nose has an intense and ethereal perfume of spice, tobacco and brushwood notes.
As it turns out the 2005 Barbaresco Rabajà offers greater freshness and vibrancy than the 2004. I suppose that is not too surprising considering the estate did not produce a Riserva in this vintage so the oldest vines were used in the non-Riserva bottling. Today the wine comes across as rather primary, which just hints of its perfumed fruit making an appearance. The tannins need some time to soften, but this energetic, focused Barbaresco offers tons of quality, and is likely to be one of the vintage’s best kept secrets.
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, October 2008