The Mad Genius of Barbaresco: Fabio Gea @ Solano Cellars November 17th

Solano Cellars Wine Bar

Friday November 17th

5-8pm (Last Call 7:45)

Fabio Gea has an immense respect for this history of the vineyards he inherited from his maternal Grandfather in Bricco di Neive, the historic center of Barbaresco. He also excels at finding new ways to tell the Italian government and their often arbitrary rules and classifications to (kindly but forcefully) f*ck right off. If those seem like contradictory statements, rest assured: they are not. It's Fabio's dogged determination to shake the bounds of convention that make his wines revelatory.

Fabio is, without a doubt, one of the most provocative winemakers on the planet. But it's not just for provocation's sake. He is a decidedly natural producer in a region not necessarily known for it, with rows of Nebbiolo (and Barbera, Dolcetto, and Grignolino) interplanted with fruit trees. A scant amount of sulfur is used, with Fabio instead trusting the quality of his vines to offer structure and stability, often without any additions at all. His experiments with assorted aging vessels - he ages his wines in older barrels of 440 liters and 500 liters, glass and stainless steel, and in "toilet" (Gea has crafted his own porcelain amphorae) - are borne from a genuine question: is oak aging really the best vessel for Nebbiolo? Or have winemakers in Piedmont been conditioned to believe that mostly out of fear of stepping out of the confines of the consortium? In Gea's mind, constantly striving to highlight the vineyards and varietals from these historic plots is the most impactful show of respect. So while it might seem like shock value for him to submerse a fermentation vessel in water - as he artfully explains, "f*cking in the pool for four months, water and wine making love" - it's instead Fabio's earnest attempt to highlight this iconic terroir in the purest way possible, consortium be damned.
On Friday, we're pouring a lineup of Fabio's new releases - Barbaresco, declassified Barbaresco, and blends that only he could dream up. Alyssa Papiernik from Farm Imports will be behind the bar to shed more light on the mad genius of Barbaresco (we'll have a few additional wines open, too!).
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