Le Rocchette Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2016
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.

Wine Type: Red Wine

Variety: Barbera

Classification: DOCG

Orientation: N/A

Appellation: Monferrato

Gradient: 300-450 masl

Soil: Clay, sandy marl with chalky outcroppings

Farming Practices: Sustainable

Residual Sugar: N/A

Alcohol: 15.5

Malolactic: Yes

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: N/A

Other Practices: Sustainable