The Minuto family has a long history in Barbaresco (Rosenthal site)

Cascina Luisin: Incredibly Evocative Nebbiolo - perfect for sharing with loved ones and friends

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I don’t often drink the wine that I’m offering while I’m writing about it -  but sometimes I do. Last night, I brought home the Cascina Luisin Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Maggiur.’ I took a glass to my fiancée and asked her to guess the varietal. She spun the glass, put it to her nose, and before even tasting it, she let out a very real “Mmmmmmm...” She closed her eyes and took a sip. “Nebbiolo,” she said, slowly, pricked by the oh-so enchanting character of the wine. We felt the same thing. It is absolutely one of the most charming Langhe Nebbiolo expressions that I’ve ever tasted. Evocative, filled with aromas and flavors that begin splayed like a galaxy of earth, flowers and fruit, but end up uniting in a symphonic order, becoming the other half of a passionate connection between itself and its drinker. Dramatic? Maybe - but true!

The color of this Nebbiolo shows a clean cranberry core and lovely, burnt red edges. On the nose, aromas of red cherry, green herbs, and elegant floral tones combine with darker smells of orange rind, black pepper, and a touch of smoke. Plump flavors on the palate of cherry, savory citrus, and salt, leading to a bite of black tea. Structurally, this Nebbiolo has a mineral center, with a fantastic ounce of tender richness, healthy acidity and soft tannin. A little sweet citrus and clove touch at the end of the wine's finish.

The ‘Paolin’ Barbaresco from Cascina Luisin, derived primarily from fruit grown in the sandy soils of the Basarin cru of Neive, has a very similar character as the ‘Magguir’ - except it has more weight and tannic form. A Barbaresco to drink today, or over the next 10 years, and priced perfectly at just above $50. This is a holiday wine, and I promise you’ll pop plenty of them this season.

In the glass, the 2016 Paolin boasts a color of clear cherry with auburn red edges. The nose is exemplary, with enticing, rich smells of red berries, woodsy smoke, and pungent red flowers - as the wine opens up, hints of sweet plum and a hint of zesty citrus and ginger appear. The palate has a spark, with crisp flavors of cherry, mint, and loamy, minerally earth - culminating in a herbal, high-toned finish. Medium tannin with high acidity, with a fresh, fruity middle. A brooding flavor of espresso is left on your tongue after the wine's long finish.

An old label belonging to the Minuto Luigi estate in Barbaresco (Rosenthal site)

I actually became familiar with Cascina Luisin a little while ago. In April of last year, I had a great email conversation with Martina Minuto of the Moccagatta winery in Barbaresco. I had contacted her to ask if her family had produced a few Barolo and Barbaresco bottles from the 1960s that we were selling at Chambers, labeled “Fratelli Minuto.” As it turns out, Martina’s family has nothing to do with Fratelli Minuto… but the topic allowed her to discuss some interesting family history! 

“We share the family name but we don’t share a common ancestor,” she wrote me. “My great-grandfather’s label was Minuto Luigi,” Martina explained, “[and] when he passed the property was divided between his sons, Lorenzo and my grandfather, Mario. To avoid confusion of the name Minuto in a small town like Barbaresco, Mario was Moccagatta, Lorenzo was Cascina Luisin, and the other family had Fratelli Minuto.”

Today, Cascina Luisin is under the direction of Roberto Minuto, Lorenzo’s grandson. According to  the estate's introduction on the Rosenthal Wine Merchant website, “Luisin means ‘little Luigi’ in an old Piedmontese dialect” and it was in 1952 that Lorenzo was bestowed the original family winery, “which sits in the middle of the renowned Rabajà cru in Barbaresco.” Boehling credits Roberto, and his two decades at the helm of the family business (which now consists of eight hectares spread across some of the region's most prized slopes) with bringing “a level of precision and elegance to Luisin’s wines… without sacrificing any of their gutsy depth or age-worthy concentration.”

I hope that you enjoy the same experience with the Cascina Luisin wines that I've had. I'm sure that if you put a glass under the nose of a friend or loved one, you'll hear the same "Mmmmm" that I did. David Hatzopoulos

Cascina Luisin 2018 Langhe Nebbiolo Maggiur

Grapes from a small parcel in San Rocco Seno d'elvis in Alba. Grapes fermented naturally in concrete and aged for a year in large casks. The color of this Nebbiolo shows a clean cranberry core and lovely, burnt red edges. On the nose, aromas of red cherry, green herbs, and elegant floral tones combine with darker smells of orange rind, black pepper, and a touch of smoke. Plump flavors on the palate of cherry, savory citrus, and salt, leading to a bite of black tea. Structurally, this Nebbiolo has a mineral center, with a fantastic ounce of tender richness, healthy acidity and soft tannin. Truly out of this world! David Hatzoopulos

  • red
  • 34 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic

Cascina Luisin 2016 Barbaresco Sori Paolin

The Poalin is from grapes grown mostly in the cru of Basarin, located in the Neive area of Barbaresco. 45 year old vines are planted to sandy, south-facing soils. Fermented naturally in concrete and aged in large casks of Slavonian oak. In the glass, the 2016 Paolin boasts a color of clear cherry with burnt red edges. The nose is exemplary, with enticing, rich smells of red berries, woodsy smoke, and pungent red flowers - as the wine opens up, hints of sweet plum and a hint of zesty citrus and ginger appear. The palate is edgier, with crisp flavors of cherry, mint, and loamy, minerally earth - culminating in a herbal, high-toned finish. Medium tannin with high acidity, with a fresh, fruity middle. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 28 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Organic