Ca del Baio makes some of the best Barbaresco. What really sets them apart is their incredible value. We keep expecting their prices to increase as the rest of the wine world (and critics) discover them. Thankfully they haven't yet! Vallegrande is a true gem: deeply aromatic dark cherry, mint, rose, and forest. Great fruit and structure, like the Asili it can be decanted and enjoyed now, especially with dinner, or cellared 2-10 years and loved throughout that window. - Marcus
2012 vintage notes
94 points Wine Advocate: "The Ca’ del Baio line-up is extremely impressive and delightful. These are some of the best wines from Barbaresco. The 2010 Barbaresco Valgrande delivers a heightened sense of elegance and feminine restraint. The bouquet is redolent of cola, tar, blue flower, rosehip with faint hints of exotic spice. The tight grip of the tannins – firm without being astringent – gives this wine the attributes needed for longer cellar time. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026."
2008 vintage notes
I've been waiting nearly two years for this wine to arrive in Oregon, since my last trip to Barbaresco. One scent and I'm instantly transported there. Red cherry, dried rose, a melange of brown spices, licorice, subtle mint - you can smell this all day. This finish persists with a succulent sweetness to the tannins. I've been drinking it with all kinds of food, a favorite being seared pork tenderloin. - Marcus
Wine Advocate's Antonio Galloni said it perfectly: "This is an undeniably pretty Barbaresco."
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
90 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Barbaresco Valgrande is the freshest and most perfumed of these offerings. There is an attractive floral lift to the bright red cherry fruit as this wine continues to develop positively in the glass. The tannins remain a bit prominent, but the wine offers outstanding length and a pretty, refreshing finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017.
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
The 2004 Valgrande embodies everything I love about Barbaresco. Complex aromas of spice, sweet fruit, leather, tar, and cedar with a gorgeously pure core of sappy cherry fruit with blueberry and plum accents. Plush fruit shows on the entry, with excellent grip on the lingering finish. This is truly an "utterly tempting" Barbaresco that can be enjoyed upon release (we've gone through a six pack at home already!) although it is built to age for more than a decade. - Marcus
The 2004 Valgrande received a Three Glasses (Tre Bicchieri) rating from Gambero Rosso 2008 Guide to Italian Wines. The signifiance of the Three Glasses rating cannot be overstated; the selection process is rigorous. From nearly 25,000 wines, just 1500 are selected for the Three Glasses taste offs. All tastings are blind. Only 305 of the 25,000 wines were given the Three Glasses rating, of which the Ca del Baio was one.
Gambero Rosso writes: "The 2004 vintage saw (winegrower) Giulio produce three superlative selections, each with its owen well-defined personality... Three Glasses went to Ca' del Baio for an utterly tempting, admirably distinctive Barbaresco destined for significant evolution."