We dedicate this wine of the month page to an extraordinary winemaker who passed away in Montalcino on April 19 of this year. Until the last hours of his life, he was talking about green fertilizing, pruning, aging. Nello Baricci was among the founders of the Consorzio, one of those visionaries and pioneers who, with hard and exacting work, transformed the geography of Montalcino from wheat fields to one of the most sought-after vineyard zones in the world. We have rarely known a winemaker so entirely dedicated to his land and his work. Two years ago, when we interviewed him, he burst into tears remembering the scandal involving Brunello. Just the thought of it was unbearable, shocking. How could anyone do that to the land they loved?
The crucial year in Baricci’s life was 1955 when Nello purchased the Colombaio estate. His wines have always been extremely faithful to the earthy, lustrous style typical of Montosoli sangioveses. Credit is due to his children Graziano and Graziella, his son-in-law Piero Buffi, and grandsons Federico and Francesco, all of whom work on the estate's five hectares, and to the cellar processes, which include long maceration and aging in 20- and 40-hectolitre Slavonian oak barrels.
The first Riserva di Brunello made at Baricci in 60 years of history is from the super-acclaimed 2010 vintage. The wine reveals traditional, complex inspiration with an interplay of plums and dried flowers, freshly dug earth and coffee powder, faithfully echoed in the taut, biting palate. The final vibration is interminable. Nello, may the earth that you loved be gentle, and we thank you for this last gift.