Le Rocchette Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2016

Vineyard: Tenuta Olim Bauda
Region: Piedmont


92-James Suckling

Tasting Notes 

Power and elegance combine in the highly regarded ‘Le Rocchette’ from Olim Bauda. The sandier soils here result in a wine that has a velvety profile and spicy character. Though full, rich and heady, it maintains its balance with acid and tannin from winemaker Dino’s deft hand and incredible knowledge of his vineyards.


Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that produces good yields and is known for deep colour, full body, low tannins and high levels of acid. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red cherries and blackberries. In the lightest versions, notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries; and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity and aging potential. The lightest versions are generally known for flavours and aromas of fresh and dried fruit.


An outstanding high-quality wine region in northwest Italy, widely considered the country’s most stable and evolved viticultural area. Its temperature and rainfall mirror Bordeaux. The vast majority of Piedmont’s terrain is mountainous or hilly, creating optimum elevated vineyard sites for the region’s best varieties. Of those, Nebbiolo enjoys the greatest notoriety and acclaim. The grape reaches its highest potential in the sub-regions of Barolo and Barbaresco where it is made into incredibly structured, complex, and ageworthy wines. Approximately half of Piedmont’s vineyards are planted with Barbera. The past thirty years have seen significant improvement in Barbera-based wines, with some commanding price levels that approach those of Barolo and Barbaresco. Prior to 1980, white wines were, for the most part, an afterthought, but they are now gaining acclaim and popularity in Italy and abroad. Of particular interest is the resurgence of Gavi, made from the Cortese grape, and the low-alcohol, frizzante Moscato d’Asti.


The Bertolino family’s vineyard plantings date to 1979 and 2000. They are located in the warmest sub-zone within Nizza Monferrato and one of the warmest in all of Asti. Soils consist predominantly of clay and sandy marl with a fair amount of lime with chalky ‘veins’ throughout. Le Rocchette is sourced from a single vineyard that possesses more sand than the others. Grapes are Guyot-trained and tended to by hand.


Grapes were harvested by hand during the first week of October, sorted and crushed in the evening and then transferred to stainless steel tanks for maceration and temperature controlled fermentation. Aged in French oak (Allier) 25 hl barrels for 18 months.

Cellar Profile

The Bertolino family’s origins are in the village of Castelnuovo Calcea, in the Asti district of Piemonte. There, more than a century ago, the family began their venture in both winemaking and the wine trade. In the 1920s, the family moved to the neighbouring commune of Nizza Monferrato and the first Bertolino license to sell wine was dated there, on June 18th, 1927. In 1961, the family bought the villa Bauda at Incisa Scapaccino. They created the “Tenuta Olim Bauda” that soon became famous for Freisa, Moscato and, above all, Barbera. Following the tragic death of Bertolino Sr. in 1985, the family was forced to close the winery and sell their prized fruit to other producers in the area. In 2000, the family decided to re-establish the winery and its winemaking traditions. Today, the estate is owned and operated by the three Bertolino siblings: Dino, Diana and Gianni. Their wines are at once modern and classic, loaded with fruit, intensity and brawn and backed by elegance, structure and refinement.

Wine Type: Red Wine

Variety: Barbera

Classification: DOCG

Appellation: Monferrato

Gradient: 300-450 masl

Soil: Clay, sandy marl with chalky outcroppings

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Alcohol: 15.5%

Malolactic: Yes

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Other Practices: Sustainable