BAROLO'S 15 MILLION YEARS OLD SOILBy Filippo BartolottaLast day of Langhe is dedicated to LaMorra and we begin with one if its most talented wine makers: Roberto Voerzio.
He would come and say hello looking straight in your eyes trying to immediately find a connection with you. I like winemakers that do not put screens or filters between them and their wines and he comes with the full monty package!The first hour is dedicated to viticulture, then is barrel sample tastings and then bottles.When it comes to big name in the wine scene one tends to accept the novels very often told by everybody else, but the truth of the matter is that when one meets someone in person things somehow turn to be very different from the expected. Roberto is very keen on sharing his wine making philosophy and approach to viticulture with his visitors. After thirty years he isneurot just sitting back and relax but he clearly enjoys is job and his life.In twenty five years I have managed to purchase bits of my favourite crus in La Morra and Barolo: Brunate, Cerequio, Serre, Rocche delleuroAnnunziata, Fossati and Case Nere. I am very happy and very lucky!He is a strange combination of humbleness and assertiveness but one suggestion I would give you is do take some time to pay him a visit because time flies with him.
mmm...what shall we drink?
He seems to be a very smooth person, very easy to deal with, open and ready to enjoy life just like his wines and just like the terroir in LaMorra.Voerzio Barolo Cerequio 2006Very dense and perfumed with a lot of balsamic hints and minty traces with already a powerfully earthy and mushrooms finish. Big structure, tight tannins, needs time.Voerzio Barolo Brunate 2006This is a spicier wine with a more open style and a very floral elegant mouthful.
Voerzio Barolo Cerequio 2005Maybe less structure and density then the 2006, but with a more elegant tannic structure right now and a more truffle, minty approach.Voerzio Barolo Fossati-Case Nere 2003The wine show its ripe black fruit character and a more syrup like nose. Sweet tannins, savory and with tons of licorice. The wine will be released in 2013.
Voerzio Merlot 2005This was the surprise of the morning with a lot of gun flint, pencil shavings and clean ripe black fruit and an outstanding drinkability and minerality.
Voerzio Barbera Il Pozzo 2005Oxidative complex leather and licorice nose with a smooth and juicy palate and a persistent meaty finish.So what is the difference among the various Barolo Areas and crus?Starting south to north one could draw a line on google maps starting from Novello, then Barolo, La Morra and Verduno These four towns are located on a so called Tortonian soil. A very ancient -six to 11 million years ago- compacted calcareous, sand and grey-blu marnal soil with a rather soft density.Going east from from La Morra and Barolo is Castiglione Falletto and then south east thereeuros Serralunga and Monforte.Castiglione Falletto is on top of a hill where the the Tortonian soil changes on the eastern side into Elvetian. Here the soil has a gray/yellow color. It was originated 15 million years ago and it is similar in composition but with more sedimented and compactly though sandy elements almost like chalk.In a nut-shell the smooth vs tough phisical characteristics of the soil are imparted in the Nebbiolo almost mirroring the character. Hence Serralunga and Monforte are generally giving tougher wines whether Novello, Barolo, La Morra and Verduno release smoother wines and Castiglione Falletto with in between elegance and power.Tasting Mauro Molino Barolos and Fratelli Revello Barolos in La Morra it isneurot too difficult to get this sweet and smooth character in the wines regardless the difference in aromas and texture of the different crus.But it is actually the crus, the different vineyards which give this wines the seductive power they have.So Matteo Molino is always very keen on showing his three different crus as he would use exactly the same vineyard and cellar managment for the three crus, but the result in the glass is so clearly different.
Mauro Molino Barolo Gallinotto 2005Dense, leathery and earthy with a musk and meaty style, very sweet palate.Mauro Molino Barolo Giachini 2005Violets and other floral nuances with lovely bright red fruit and a leaner profile. Very elegant.Mauro Molino Barolo Conca 2005Ripe, intense with a balsamic and herbaceous profile and a bigger although resolved tannic structureMatteo is very excited about Langhe and about his job as in the near future we will all have more older vintages to understand the true potential of Langhe.With Enrico Revello, literally around the corner from Matteo Molino, the wines talk the same perfumed, Mediterranean open friendly style and yet with their own special unique language.With the Revello we also try to understand how the different crus react to different vintages. Like Molino the size of Revelloeuros vineyard is of a little more or a little less then a hectar! This is true artisan wine making.
Fratelli Revello Barolo Vigna Gattera 2006This is a very elegant juicy wine with a lot of structure but also very crunch and smooth fruit. Of course it has just been bottled and it will only get better.Fratelli Revello Barolo Vigna Conca 2004Conca tends to be always a little denser and earthier and this euro04 is also showing plenty of licorice and leather.Fratelli Revello Barolo Vigna Giachini 2003This is a wine with a lot of ripe and generous fruit and a very seductive iodine finish.
It has been quite a tough morning for Lana Jim and I, now is time to take a little lunch break at Locanda del Borgo Antico where we had a mushroom, truffle and leathery super powerful Rocche delleuroAnnuziata Palol Scavino 1999 to match the lovely lunch and to finish off our little Langhe trip for this time.Now I am in Parma at the Grand Hotel de la Ville looking forward to an immersion in the Prosciutto di Parma world!