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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Barolo Magic + Cantina del Pino

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

We don't often get very excited about half bottles, as they can be quite a bit more expensive, per ounce of liquid, than full bottles. When one of your favorites comes in a half bottle and it is somehow lower in price than the full bottle, you start to get a little giddy. Here we are, happy as somms at Sassicaia, presenting you with Cascina Ballarin's fabulous 2016 Barolo 'Tre Ciabot' in 375ml bottles for $18!

Today much of the most sought-after Barolo comes from single vineyards, but some of the most famous are still made in the old way, blended from multiple vineyards across the region. With their Barolo 'Tre Ciabot' the Viberti family adheres to the older tradition, blending grapes from three communes in Barolo: Monforte d'Alba, Novello and La Morra. Cascina Ballarin is a small family-run operation, one of the little guys in Barolo, making some of the best under-the-radar wines in the region. In any vintage, their Tre Ciabot represents a great value in this blue-chip region. When a vintage like 2016 comes along, Tre Ciabot makes for a rare opportunity. With a half-bottle at $18, you would be nuts not to try it. The team tried this a couple weeks ago, and we all loved it. See John Paul's note below:

Red cherry, plum, raspberry, violets, leather and mushrooms, a little tobacco and cinnamon. Intense tannin at first, but this mellows with a bit of air. Old school, might be a bit rustic and rough for some, but there's gorgeous transparency, so much clear Barolo character, and that's a beautiful thing. Tart, fruity, savory at once, finishing with classic Barolo grip and perfume. Drink now through 2030+.

This wine is limited. Buy 6 bottles, and we'll knock 15% off your order, bringing the cost down to $15.30 for 375 milliliters, a couple hefty glasses, of pure Barolo magic. Please email to reserve your allocation.

Franca Miretti of Cantina del Pino

Here's Franca Miretti, blocking our view of Barbaresco's famous tower. She is now at the helm of Cantina del Pino, after the passing of her husband, Renato Vacca, one of Barbaresco's monumentally talented sons. May Franca stand as a monument with her young daughter, taking Cantina del Pino to new heights. Our thoughts are with her and her family often, as many wines from Cantina del Pino grace our shelves, and we are constantly recommending them.

We offered the 2016 vintage of Cantina del Pino Barbaresco a few weeks ago. Franca sent some samples recently and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to try them. The 2016 vintage has received so much acclaim, so we knew they would be great, but our expectations were more than met. They will long be celebrated as some of Renato's best. There are not greater wines in all of Barbaresco, just greater prices. See John Paul's notes below:

2016 Barbaresco - cherry, plum, iron, roses, flowers, a bit of orange oil and licorice, firm and long, serious tannins and a deep texture, should start to come around in 5 years, will last much longer, tastes like it could be $75+

2016 Barbaresco Gallina - wild blueberry, strawberry, violets and roses, licorice, topsoil, petrichor, wild herbs, raw cacao, firm tannins, velvety and deep texture, fresh and mineral finish, intense fruit and a touch of licorice linger along with the minerality, probably best to save this 5 years, will last for 20+

2016 Barbaresco Albesani - Albesani is a warmer site, and has often been by far the richest wine in the Cantina del Pino lineup, but it is very fresh and red-fruited today, ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry, a little tar and meat, subtle flowers, this is tighter than the previous wines, full on the palate, with lots of tannin and texture, tense and dense, only hinting at the richness that will unfold with 5+ years of cellaring, will last for 20+

2016 Barbaresco Ovello - the most lifted and full wine on the nose, fresh blue and red fruits, sweet orange, roses, violets, a bit of cherry hard candy and blackberry preserves, full and tense on the palate, firm tannins, the most concentrated wine in the lineup, with the longest finish, it is also the most tightly wound and will need the most cellaring, this will be in very fine form 20 years from now, might be worth saving well beyond that

2016 Barbaresco - $42 reg, $35 net

2016 Barbaresco Albesani - $59 reg, $48 net

2016 Barbaresco Gallina - $59 reg, $48 net

2016 Barbaresco Ovello - $64 reg, $52 net

2016 Barbaresco 1.5L magnum - $102 reg, $82 net

2016 Barbaresco Albesani 1.5L magnum - $129 reg, $105 net

2016 Barbaresco Ovello 1.5L magnum - $138 reg, $112 net

The 2016 vintage of Cantina del Pino Barbaresco will arrive in October. Pre-order 3 or more bottles (you can mix and match) to received the net pricing on offer. If you want anything, please let us know as soon as possible. This offer is good until October 1, 2020. Send requests to

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