Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2019
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Baio's Asili 2019 epitomizes the elegance of Barbaresco within the context of Nebbiolo. It is so gorgeous! So effusively, glowingly red in tone—from its cherry and rose aromas to its hauntingly pretty red berry layers and reddish-brown spice accents of cinnamon.
Ca del Baio's style makes this so attractive already, with a caressing silkiness. I enjoyed a bottle over four days and wouldn't discourage anyone from doing as the Piemontese do: drink young Barbaresco! But I am fully confident it has a long life ahead of it for those who prefer their Nebbiolo with age. Asili is one of Piemonte's great vineyards and the value that Ca del Baio delivers in their Asili is truly astounding.
Most won't recognize the name Ian D'Agata so, some context: former contributing editor for Decanter, former senior editor for Vinous, Ian is the co-author of of the Italy section of the world's best selling wine guide, Hugh Johnson's Pocket Book of Wine.
98 points Ian D'Agata for Terroir Sense: "Now this is a gem. Moderately saturated vivid red-ruby colour. Captivating aromas of sour red cherry, cinnamon, red rose, violet, minerals and exotic woods. Silky and sweet on entry, with expressive red fruit flavours and repeating hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, then light and lifted in the middle. Boasts an amazingly suave texture but with obvious concentration of fruit and a truly impressive multi-layered quality on the long pliant finish. Seductive and delicious right now, with impressively pure red berry tones lingering nicely, this is an absolutely fantastic Barbaresco that will age extremely well (the Grasso sisters think it will be best before 2035). The Grasso family can be absolutely proud of what they have come up with here. I have no doubts this will turn out to be one of the top five or six Barbarescos of the vintage.
Also, Three Glasses (Tre Bicchieri) from Gambero Rosso, another exceptional accolade!
2018 vintages notes
94 points Wine Spectator: "There's a sappy, old-vine character to this red, featuring intense cherry, strawberry and floral aromas and flavors. Accents of wild herbs, iron and tobacco add depth as this plays out on the lingering finish, showing excellent balance and length. Best from 2024 through 2038."
2016 vintage notes
A fantastic opportunity to buy Barbaresco from the legendary 2016 vintage and legendary Asili cru, one of the most prestigious Nebbiolo vineyards in all of Barbaresco and Barolo. The old vines produce an exceptional, elegant Barbaresco, classically structured yet youthfully attractive, exuding beautiful cherry, rose, mineral, and tobacco. I recommend decanting for an hour if you drink now, and pairing with your favorite hearty Italian fare. Tonight, it's lasagna. I know, not cuisine from Piemonte but sometimes you gotta improvise! - Marcus
2015 vintage notes
95 points James Suckling: "Classic aromas of tar and roses with spices, strawberries and some leather. Full body, round and firm tannins and a chewy finish. A beautiful and unique wine from a great vineyard. Try in 2021.
2010 vintage notes
Purely awesome. The best Asili yet from our friends at Ca del Baio is damn near perfect. Dark cherries, licorice and menthol aromas guide you into a classy, silky palate of wild berries. Remarkably accessible now, with the goods to age for 10+ years. One of the best global values in wine I've found. (My last trip to Ca del Baio was in the middle of the 2010 harvest, so this vintage has personal significance to me.) - Marcus
95 Points Wine Advocate: "The 2010 Barbaresco Asili is an exciting, top-notch achievement that shows extreme class and sophistication. Polished mineral tones are fleshed out by cassis, wild berry, chopped mint and freshly milled white pepper. The wine is long and smooth on the finish, with a finely detailed or etched quality to the tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028.
Giulio Grasso’s family entered the wine business “late,” as he tells it, because his male ancestors were soldiers in the various World Wars. Only after the turmoil in Europe settled, in the mid 1950s, did the family start to bottle wine. The estate’s most precious vineyard, the three hectares they own in the Asili cru, was a wedding dowry from Giulio’s grandmother (from Barbaresco) to his grandfather (from Treiso). Today, the family owns 25 hectares including the Valgrande and Marcarini crus in Treiso and the Asili and Pora crus in Barbaresco. Giulio’s father, Ernesto, farms the vineyards today at age 91. The Ca’ del Baio line-up is extremely impressive and delightful. These are some of the best wines from Barbaresco."
The winery described its philosophy: Diligent work on each plant, with particular attention to the steps of pruning, essential for the vegetative development to be balanced; respect for every single vintage in order to encourage the different expression of every vintage; cellar work non-invasive and essentially directed to highlight the authenticity of every wine; prices formulated with good sense, without charging a value plucked out of thin air.
2009 vintage notes
94 points Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Barbaresco Asili caresses the palate with soft, open fruit and a resonant personality that is quite striking. The essence of red berries, rose petals and sweet spices blossom in the glass. This is an especially vibrant style for the year, with excellent freshness, color and balance. Firm tannins support a highly attractive, delineated finish. The 2009 should be an absolute beauty in another few years, once the tannins soften. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. - Antonio Galloni
The wine with which the story of Ca del Baio began, this is one of the best known Langhe crus in the world. Precious fruit of old vines.
2006 vintage notes
Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2006 is sexy, loaded with plush and creamy fruit that takes some time to coax from the glass. Beginning with a nose of fragrant dried roses and sun-ripened raspberries, it transitions to delicious black cherries and raspberries, mingling with an elegant anise ribbon. Firm tannins help prolong the staggering finish. Best to decant for an hour for early drinking, this exceptional Barbaresco will enjoy a long life in your cellar. - Marcus
The Asili '06 was awarded Three Glasses in Gambero Rosso 2010, and described as "wonderfully deep...exceptional grace." It was one of only 391 out of 18,000 wines with that distinction. It is also one of the most reasonably-priced Three Glass recipient.
2005 vintage notes
93 points Wine Advocate: "The Ca del Baio Estate 2005 Barbaresco Asili opens with a beguiling profile of dried roses, spices and raspberries. It possesses a compelling inner sweetness supported by finessed, silky-textured tannins. This bottling offers notable elegance and class, but then again, it is Asili. Anticipated maturity: 2010 - 2020."
It's great to see Ca del Baio and proprietor Giulio Grasso follow up their highly successful 2004s with this set of wines".
2004 vintage notes
93 points Wine Advocate: "The 2004 Barbareso Asili is awesome. It presents superb depth and precision in the notes of rose petals, red cherries, licorice and tar that flow effortlessly from the glass. A touch of well-used oak adds an additional layer of sweetness on the finish. This beautiful, elegant Barbaresco is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2019.
These 2004 Barbarescos are by far the finest wines I have tasted from Ca del Baio. Hopefully they represent a level of quality the estate will be able to maintain going forward because the wines are terrific. Ca del Baio is located in Treiso, but has holdings across the Barbaresco zone, including a plot in the prestigious Asili vineyard. The estate favors a soft, fruit-driven style of Barbaresco that seems best suited to mid-term drinking."
Gambero Rosso says: "Asili shows powerful, generous, deep and harmonious, with fleshy fruit and character to spare."
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