Roagna, Barolo, 2010

Roagna, Barolo, 2010

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2010

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    13.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Nebbiolo 100%

Pira is a historic vineyard located in the village of Castiglione Falletto and originally owned by the noble family who had a private road that connected the vineyard and the castle hundreds of years ago. The vineyard sits on the side of Serralunga d’Alba and Perno and is Southeast facing. Pira contains specific characteristics due to the slow disintegration of the rocks of Castiglione.

The family purchased this vineyard in 1989 and have 4.88 hectares planted with vines, which is the largest single parcel they own. There are 6 unique micro parcels depending on the composition of the terrain which ranges from limestone marl Roca to blue stone.

The land is protected at the top by the Rocche of Castiglione and downstream from the forest with a stream flowing from Bussia of Monforte d’Alba.

The habitat is ideal for the concept of respecting the land and the life of the soil.

The vines for this wine are between 25 and 50 years of age using only clippings that have been pruned from the Pira vineyard.

The harvest takes place normally during the middle of October by hand into small containers usually in the morning once the fruit has reached perfect physiological ripeness. Before being made into wine, each berry is manually selected in order to only use perfect fruit.

Fermentation takes place exclusively in large wood casks thanks to a pied de cuve created from indigenous yeasts. Fermentation lasts for ten days and then Roagna use the ancient technique of maceration by splinting the submerged cap process which lasts for at least two months, (60 – 75 days). The wine is finally aged in a neutral oak barrel for approximately 5 years.

The production of bottles is limited to less than fifteen thousand bottles per vintage

About Roagna

Roagna is a family-owned Piemontese producer based in Barbaresco. It has been making wine in the district since before its official classification in 1890, and is particularly known for its Barbaresco Crichët Pajé cuvée, one of the highest-priced wines made in Italy.

The estate is made up of vineyard parcels that have been gradually acquired over the years. Today, Roagna owns 12 hectares (30 acres) of vines, including four small plots in the Barbaresco cru vineyards Asili, Carso, Montefico and Pajè, plus 7ha (17 acres) at Pira in Castiglione Falleto, Barolo. In addition, there are several collaborations in place with owners of other prestigious vineyard plots.

The portfolio is headed by the Crichët Pajé wine, as well as a Barbaresco Riserva and a range of other single-vineyard Barbaresco wines. Roagna also makes a Barolo from the Pira vineyard, a Dolcetto d'Alba and a Barbera d'Alba, as well as a red and white wine under the Langhe DOC. The range is completed by the Opera Prima, a multi-vintage blend of Nebbiolo.

Roagna doesn't use herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers in the vineyards, and a cover crop of grass forces the vine roots deeper to search for nutrients. In the winery, fruit undergoes a long wild yeast fermentation with a submerged cap, and the wines are aged in large oak casks to minimize wood flavours. The Roagna wines are then bottled without fining or filtration.

Grape variety
Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is an Italian red wine grape variety predominantly associated with its native Piedmont region, where it makes the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara, Carema and Ghemme. Nebbiolo is thought to derive its name from the Italian nebbia or Piedmontese nebia, meaning "fog". During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Alternative explanations refers to the fog-like glaucous veil that forms over the berries as they reach maturity, or that perhaps the name is derived instead from the Italian word nobile, meaning noble. Nebbiolo produces lightly-coloured red wines which can be highly tannic in youth with scents of tar and roses. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal other aromas and flavours such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes. Nebbiolo wines can require years of aging to balance the tannins with other characteristics.

In the most notable expression of Nebbiolo, the wines of Barolo, there is division between what is considered a "traditional" approach to Nebbiolo and a "modernist" approach. The roots of both styles can trace their history to the early "pre-technology" production of Nebbiolo. Prior to the advent of temperature-controlled fermentation, the late harvest dates for Nebbiolo meant that the wines began fermentation when the weather turned cold. These cool temperatures would delay fermentation for several days, extending the maceration period and extraction of phenolic compounds such as tannins. When fermentation did begin, temperatures would reach excessive levels of 95-100 °F (35-38 °C), which would drastically reduce potential aromas and flavours. With the high levels of tannins, these early Barolos would require five years or more of aging in oak barrels to soften some of the astringency. Lack of understanding of proper hygiene led to less sanitary conditions than what both traditional and modernist producers maintain today. Those conditions led to the development of bacterial infection of cement fermentation tanks and old wood barrels, which contributed to the development of off flavours and potential wine faults that would require at least 24 hours decanting to alleviate.

Today's winemaking for both traditionalists and modernists include strict hygiene controls and the use of some modern winemaking equipment. Rather than fall into one hard-line camp or the other, many producers take a middle ground approach that utilizes some modernist techniques along with traditional winemaking. In general, the traditional approach to Nebbiolo involves long maceration periods of 20 to 30 days and the use of older large botti size barrels. The modern approach to Nebbiolo utilizes shorter maceration periods of 7 to 10 days and cooler fermentation temperatures between 82 and 86 °F (28 and 30 °C) that preserve fruit flavours and aromas. Towards the end of the fermentation period, the cellars are often heated to encourage the start of malolactic fermentation which softens some of Nebbiolo's harsh acidity. Modern winemakers tend to favour smaller barrels of new oak that need only a couple years to soften the tannic grip of the wines. As new oak imparts notes of vanilla, it has the potential to cover up the characteristic rose notes of Nebbiolo.

Alternative Names: Spanna, Picoutener, Chiavennasca

About Barolo

Barolo is a traditional hillside village in the rolling hills of Piedmont, north-western Italy. The vineyards and cantine (wineries) there have long been famous for producing some of Italy's very finest red wines – predominantly from the region's signature grape variety, Nebbiolo. Fragrant, tannic Barolo wine is so revered that it was one of just three wines awarded DOCG status on the day that the classification was introduced in July 1980 (the other two were Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano).

The Barolo vineyard zone covers the parishes of Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba and Barolo itself, and also spreads over into parts of Monforte d'Alba, Novello, La Morra, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d'Alba, Cherasco and Roddi. The soils and mesoclimates vary slightly between these communes, creating subtle differences between the wines produced from their vineyards (although it must be remembered that the skills and preferences of the individual winemakers also has significant influence over these differences).

In La Morra and Barolo the soil contains a high concentration of limestone-rich Tortonian marl. The more aromatic, fruitier styles of Barolo typically come from these soil types; La Morra is considered to produce the most perfumed and graceful Barolos, while those from Barolo tend to be a little more complex, and broader-textured.

In Castiglione-Falleto, Serralunga d'Alba and Monforte, the vineyards are planted on looser and less fertile, Helvetian soils, which include both sandstone and limestone. This leads to a brick-coloured wine which is more intense, bigger in structure and requires a longer time to age. Serralunga d'Alba is well structured, long lived and the most tannic of the five, while Castiglione-Falleto is renowned for its full-bodied, rich nature and good balance and aromas. Monforte d'Alba offers rich, concentrated characteristics and a serious intensity.

Despite the differences between the wines from these various terroirs, they all retain the key qualities which define the classic Barolo style; the famous "tar and roses" aroma, a bright ruby colour (which fades to garnet over time), firm tannins, elevated acidity, and relatively high alcohol.

To earn the name Barolo, the wines must undergo at least 38 months' aging prior to commercial release, of which 18 must be spent in barrel (the remainder in bottle). For the added designation of riserva, the total aging time increases to 62 months. As the tannins soften over time, the complexity shows through with hints of earth, truffles and dark chocolate.

Classic Barolos have traditionally required at least 10 years cellaring to tame their tannins. Today, however, some producers are moving towards more "international" styles, with reduced fermentation times (meaning less extraction of colour or tannin from the must), and the use of new French barriques in place of the traditional large wooden casks. This has resulted in a fruitier and more accessible style which is approachable at a much earlier stage in its life. Many believe this modernisation detracts too severely from the classic character of Barolo. Some go so far as to say it makes the wines unrecognisable as Barolo. The ongoing debate between Barolo's modernists and traditionalist has become known as the "Barolo wars".

There are various Barolo vineyards which have achieved a sort of informal "cru" status, based on the official, structured model used in Burgundy. Esteemed winemaker Renato Ratti played a significant role in this, and created a map outlining the various crus: Cannubi, Sarmazza, Brunate, Cerequio, Rocche, Monprivato, Villero, Lazzarito, Vigna Rionda, Bussia, Ginestra and Santo Stefano di Perno.

To the northeast of Barolo, just the other side of Alba, are the vineyards which produce another stellar Nebbiolo wine, Barbaresco.

Regular price $788.00

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