(2020) From one of the biggest names of Barolo and Barbaresco, but here turning his hand to the more humble Docletto, but still a serious interpretation that spends 12 Months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Really vibrant, deep purple in colour, the nose is highly aromatic, lifted, violet-touched and elegant, but with a core of juicy blueberry and ripe plum, a hint of Amarena cherries and some depth of cocoa too. In the mouth it is smooth, ripe and full of wonderfully bittersweet flavours, the agile acidity and taut tannins giving a bit of authority, but the sweet-fruited joy of the wine always threatening to break free. Given the heritage I am sure this will cellar for a few years too.
(2014) A selection of Barbera, this time aged 18 months in large Slavonian oak. Bittersweet cocoa, cherry and the faintest rounding of vanilla is all quite subtle and powerfully concentrated, a lovely sense of quiet authority and not trying too hard about this wine. On the palate the rich, fleshy plum sweetness surprises, a real intensity of ripe black fruit, but typical of this house, everything is wrapped in a lean, linear cloak of acidity and tannin that gives it poise and length, and much more than straightforward fruit. Spices begin to build on the back palate, some smokiness and dry savoury fruit with sour cherry bite stays part of the picture all the way to the end. Fine fruit, balance and élan.
(2014) In many ways this was my favourite wine of the Ca'Rossa range tasted, and indeed I see it earned '3 bicchieri' from Gambero Rosso too. All Nebbiolo, it spends 30 months in large Slavonian oak barrels, and comes from a tiny plot on the hill of Mompissano. It has a gorgeous nose that is subtly earthy with tobacco, clove and a tiny floral lift, and plenty of bold cherry and plum fruit. It is forward and modern, in a confident way, but classically restrained too. Lovely energy and finesse, the tight tannin structure and juicy acidity, as well as its medium body, counterbalance the fruit whilst all the time complex hints of herbs, gravel and steeliness speak of its concentration.
(2014) Nebbiolo from the very north of Piemonte, along with touches of Vespetina and Croatina. Creamy and earthy, a touch of leather and of tar, but a core of very nice, ripe, brightly focused red fruits. A hint of vanilla too, but never losing sight of that lift, elegance and brightness of cherry. Lovely energy on the palate too, with a stripe of juiciness powering through and giving this tension and freshness into a long, harmonious finish. A fine wine, touches of spice adding an extra layer of interest.
(2013) This 100% Nebbiolo from Piedmont comes from a single vineyard called 'Casot', but according to James "an administrative oversight means this wine is not allowed to put (it) on the label." It was aged two years in large, old casks. This has a lovely nose, the tar and roses of maturing Nebbiolo is there, with a crisp-edged, juiciness to the red and black fruit, a touch of something charcoally, and a layer of toast and charriness beneath. On the palate this has beautiful sweetness of fruit, a savoury black olive twist counteracting the berry fruits. It is supple and lithe, the tannins grippy but fine, and the overall sense of freshness and balance is delightful. No shortage of stuffing to age a while yet, but approachably fruit and elegant now.
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