2017 cru Barbaresco from sisters Claudia & Silvia Cigliuti
“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.
2018 Cigliuti Barbera Serraboella $54
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.
2018 Cigliuti Barbera Campass $58
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.
2018 Cigliuti Langhe Nebbiolo $64
Slightly malty, dark red fruits and spice, new leather and a sprinkle of dried herb and orange peel. It has good flavour, tannin that’s maybe a bit too choppy but I quite like the grip, bright acidity, a gentle perfume, and a solid finish, tinted with some liquorice. Needs a year or so to settle, but personality is certainly here.90 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
2017 Cigliuti Barbaresco Vie Erte $108
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
2017 Cigliuti Barbaresco Serraboella $141
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