Product information

Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Rabajà 2015

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy


$110ea in any 3+
$105ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork


You could almost call Giuseppe Cortese a one trick pony. Boy, it’s one hell of a pony. One of Barbaresco’s very best vineyards. If you could only have one this would be on the short list.

Any drinker in the know will easily put the Rabajà vineyard in their top 3 vineyards of Barbaresco if not right at the very top!

Even his Langhe Neb is young vine Rabajà!

“Wow. What a nose of pure blueberries, rose petals, lavender, crushed minerals, elderflower and so much vivid orange and candied citrus peel. Full body, electric acidity, firm and wonderfully polished tannins and a long, mineral finish.” JS 95 Points

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Check out all of the wines by Giuseppe Cortese

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Traditional version of the great Cru: a wine featuring structure, elegance and a personality of its own.

Barbaresco Rabajà is our most important wine and has an intense and ethereal perfume with fresh notes that evolve into scents of spices, tobacco and brushwood notes as it ages. A dry, full and robust flavour with a rich and harmonious structure; garnet red colour.

Grape variety: 100% nebbiolo

Surface area: in Barbaresco 4 hectares in the “Rabajà” zone, with south, south-westerly exposure

Altitude: 235 / 315 meters a.s.l.

Soil: Limestone and clay soil rich in minerals and stratified with layers of “tufo”

Age of vineyard around 50 years. Density of planting system guyot-4,000 vines per hectare

Vinification around 30 days of fermentation in stainless steel and old cement tanks

Ageing: 20/22 months in Slavonian oak barrels ranging in size of 17 to 25 hectolitres and in age of 5/6 years minimum. Minimum 10 months of maturing in the bottle before being released for sale.


“It’s impossible not to admire these genuine, sincere wines and their equally unpretentious prices”. Antonio Galloni

About Guiseppe Cortese

Giuseppe went solo in 1971, making his first wine under his own name.

About the 2016 Barbaresco Vintage

Early signs from the Langhe wines and Barbaresco coming through show 2016 to be a vintage of elegance and sophistication with a solid core of fruit and ripe tannins. A classic in the making.

From Antonio Galloni

A First Look at the 2016s…

I came away from my late summer tastings of Barbarescos deeply impressed. The region, which has so often appeared sleepy and backward, especially compared to Barolo, seems to be going through a brilliant phase. Reference-point estates are upping their game, while a number of ambitious, young winemakers are making significant improvements in quality. The 2016s, wines from a potentially historic vintage, may very well put Barbaresco on the map big time. As I traveled from producer to producer, I experienced that sense of excitement and energy I always feel when in the presence of important vintages and wines.

The young 2016 Barbarescos are some of the most compelling young wines I have tasted in twenty years of visiting the region. Many of the 2016s are still in barrel, but the picture that is starting to emerge from wines I tasted in bottle and cask is of a very high quality vintage with the potential to be truly extraordinary.

In tasting, the 2016s are extraordinarily harmonious. The extended growing season yielded wines with healthy Nebbiolo fruit, soaring aromatics and perfectly ripe, super-polished tannins. A number of producers told me they had both healthy maturities and low pHs in 2016, a combination that is unusual. Stylistically, the 2016s remind me of the 2004s, but with more fruit and the added finesse that comes with another dozen years of experience in farming and winemaking. The best 2016s I tasted are positively dazzling. Most of the 2016s have only recently been bottled, and yet their quality is evident.

Where in the World is Giuseppe Cortese?

Cortese’s best vineyard is undoubtedly his Rabajà

Contrary to how it may appear when seen from a distance, the Rabajà hill is anything but homogeneous and can be broadly divided into at least two areas. The first bordering on Asili coincides with the picturesque amphitheatre overlooking the Martinenga cru, and mostly enjoys a south-westerly aspect. The second, on the other hand, is more linear and faces due south, though within it there are some evident variations due to marked undulations around the hillside. In both cases, the style of the wine is, however, richer and bolder than the Asili and Martinenga (although a more uncompromising, mineral character tends to emerge in the second area).

Cortese’s Rabajà is mainly facing south-west in the hollow above Martinenga, south for the remainder

Click to enlarge 🔎
95 Points

Wow. What a nose of pure blueberries, rose petals, lavender, crushed minerals, elderflower and so much vivid orange and candied citrus peel. Full body, electric acidity, firm and wonderfully polished tannins and a long, mineral finish. Drink in 2021.

James Suckling

95 Points

This opens with aromas of ripe berry, crushed herb, scorched soil and dark culinary spice. Mirroring the nose, the firm full-bodied palate evokes juicy Marasca cherry, black raspberry, star anise and clove. Taut, tightly knit and noble tannins provide the framework. Give it time to unwind and fully develop. Drink 2023–2035.

Kerin O'Keefe

93 Points

Cortese's 2015 Barbaresco Rabajà is open-knit and attractive, qualities that can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring given the wine's mid-weight structure. Crushed raspberry, rose petal, mint, dried herbs, orange zest and anise add super-classic Nebbiolo signatures to this very pretty, inviting Barbaresco from Cortese. The 2015 is all class. In 2015 Cortese did not bottle their flagship Riserva. Instead, all of the wine went into this, the straight Barbaresco Rabajà. The 2015 spent 20 months in cask.

Antonio Galloni

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Giuseppe Cortese, Strada Rabaja, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Province of Cuneo, Italy