I must admit that I am only scratching the surface when it comes to the sheer number of Barolo producers and I also find it difficult to get to grips with quality young’uns. I recently visited the cantina of Giovanni Rosso in Serralunga d’Alba now run by son Davide where we were shown round by Evan Byrne an engaging Brit who has the added advantage of being a sport fanatic but more importantly a knowledgeable Spurs fan.
The Rosso family have been in the business for a century or so but the vineyards were restructured in the 1980’s and since 2001 son Davide has taken charge of the winemaking with the philosophy that “wine should be a perfect copy of its terroir”. They are also planning to expand soon into a new bigger premises. He is obviously getting it right as recent awards have shown:
Duemilavini 2012 – top 5 Grappoli status for two wines: 2007 Barolo Cerretta and 2007 Barolo Vigna Rionda Tomasso Canale
SlowWine 2012 – “Grande Vino” (Great Wine), the highest recognition, for Barolo La Serra 2007.
Guida Oro Veronelli 2012 – Super Three Star award for Barolo Cerretta 2007 (94 points) and Barolo La Serra 2007 (96 points) and the Sun symbol for Barolo La Serra 2007 one of only 3 Barolo wines to obtain this award. The Sun symbol is for wines which have made the strongest impression, stimulated the most powerful emotions, or given the most pleasure over the course of the year, independent of score.
Tasting the 2008 and 2009 Ceretta and La Serra out of the wood was quite an experience. These wines are burly characters with huge tannins, liquorice and tar. The Ceretta vines are on South/SE facing slopes and La Serra more East facing. The Ceretta 2007 (production of around 8k bottles) had a coffee nose and beyond the tannins lots of raspberry, cherry and vanilla on the long finish. The La Serra (4-5k bottles)was noticeably more tannic and I wish I was more experienced in discerning just how good they will be in 5 or more years’ time. These were babies that need to be laid down and forgotten for a while and then opened with a hearty winter stew.
The Barbera Serralunga 2009 oozes dark ripe fruit with a soft finish and nicely balanced acidity.
I need more intense practice tasting young Barolos so a useful New Year’s resolution is born!