“I have been visiting Cigliuti since the early ‘90s or so and every time I come away more impressed than before,” wrote Ian D’Agata, author of Italy’s Native Wine Grape Terroirs, after his visit to the estate in October 2020.
“These are, and always have been, some of the very best Barbarescos of all, and I never cease to be amazed at how the family has tweaked and improved their wines over time,” he went on. “Not the least of their charm is how well they speak of the upper part of Serraboella district (Serraboella Superiore) in the eastern sector of Neive. Great wines all round and this year’s releases are no different.”
Clearly, Ian is far from alone here. CellarHand succumbed long ago to the charms of the wines grown by sisters Claudia and Silvia. The frank and wholehearted way both the Barbera and Barbaresco bottlings embrace their terroir is disarming, moving and memorable.
Cigliuti’s first vintage of this 100% Barbera wine was 1964. The fruit comes from vines with an average age of 20-years from the Serraboella cru in Neive. The site has a south-eastern exposure and is situated at 350m above sea level on clayey soils. The must is fermented in steel vats at controlled temperatures. The wine is aged for 18 months in second- and third-use French oak barriques.
Tight and dense, with blackberry, pomegranate and chocolate flavors fused to the firm structure. Has the build and intensity to stand up to grilled beef or lamb.Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
100% Barbera from 30-year-old vines on clayey soils on the Campass vineyard in the Serraboella cru, 350m above sea level. Fermented in steel vats at controlled temperatures followed by 18 months maturing in new and second-use French oak barriques.
A real stand out, the 2017 Barbera d’Alba Campass is laced with the essence of blue and purplish fruit, spice, dried herbs, licorice, lavender and menthol. Unctuous and rich in feel, the 2017 has so much to offer. Like the Serraboella Barbera, the Campass is a bit slender relative to the norm, but there are no hard edges. This is such a pretty wine.91 points. Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
From the Bricco di Neive cru Barbaresco site, this wonderfully smoky, savoury nebbiolo unfolds a heady perfume of red rose petals, red cherries and raspberries backed by suggestions of bitumen, oregano and citrus oil. Its sumptuous core of black and red fruit drives long and sumptuous down a firm, but pliant spine of sandpapery tannin, finishing with lingering notes of quince and blackberry and a perfectly balanced, refreshing acidity.Jeremy Oliver, Gourmet Traveller WINE
The 2017 Barbaresco Bricco di Neive Vie Erte packs a serious punch. Bright red cherry fruit, white pepper, iron, mint, game, smoke and dried herbs give the Vie Erte a distinctly feral, savory quality. Today, the 2017 is austere and tightly wound, so readers will have to be patient. There is plenty of intrigue, that is for certain. Yields are down a whopping 60%.92+ points. Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2017 Barbaresco Serraboella captures all the best the vintage has to offer. Floral and lifted, the 2017 is a bit more red-fruited and lighter in body than most vintages, but it has plenty of depth as well. A more gracious, finessed side of this Neive cru emerges over time. The 2017 is a sensual, arrestingly beautiful Barbaresco from Cigliuti, although it has plenty of tannic grip. In 2017, the Serraboella doesn’t have the heft and darkness of most years, but at the same time, it reveals a different facet of this site, which is quite intriguing. Sadly, yields are down 80%. The Serraboella is typically done in a combination of cask and smaller barrels, but yields were tiny, only enough to fill a single cask. My impression is that the Serraboella could turn out to be one of the hidden gems of 2017.93+ points. Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media