wines of Giovanni Rosso, Piedmont, Italy
Startlingly good, traditionally made Barolos
Agricola Giovanni Rosso is a family-owned 12 hectare estate located
in Serralunga d'Alba, in the eastern side of Barolo. The family have
owned their vineyards since the end of the 19th century, but have
only been making wines under their own label since 1995.
young-ish winegrower Davide Rosso is at the helm. He has experience
working in Burgundy with the likes of Domaine Jean Grivot and Denis
Mortet, and takes a refreshingly natural approach is taken in both
the vineyard and winery. Although there is no certification, the
seven parcels of vines are managed organically with no pesticides or
herbicides. They cover some special terroirs, including the
limestone-rich La Serra and clay-rich Cerreta.
winemaking practices bring out the best of these terroirs.
Fermentation is with wild yeasts, and takes place in cement tanks
without temperature control. The élévage is in large botte (big
5000 litre barrels) although these are made of French oak rather
than the traditional Slavonian.
this isn’t one of the best known Barolo estates, it is one of the
best, and I really appreciate this traditional style, allowing the
beauty of the Nebbiolo grape to express a real sense of place. I was
particularly impressed by the less expensive Serralunga bottling,
which combines grapes from five separate crus, vinified separately
and blended together.
wines are available in the UK from Berry Bros & Rudd (www.bbr.com),
whose prices are given in brackets.
Rosso Dolcetto d’Alba 2007 Very pure, sweet elegant nose. Bright and focused with lovely
freshness. Tight, pure fruit with nice cherry character. 89/100 (£13.20)
Rosso Barbera d’Alba 2005 From two vineyards, one 70 years old and one 29 years old.
Fresh, pure, spicy nose has nice fruitiness. There’s real elegance
and vibrancy on the palate which shows fresh, dark cherry fruit.
Focused and bright. 90/100 (£15.60)
Rosso Barolo Serralunga 2005 From five different crus, vinified separately. Wonderfully
focused, balanced nose with some fruit but also taut, spicy, earthy
complexity. The palate is rich and spicy with some herb, earth and
leather notes. Lovely sweet fruit also firm, spicy tannins, in
almost perfect balance. 94/100 (£30.50)
Rosso Barolo Cerreta 2005 From a single vineyard with deeper soils, at lower altitude,
with older vines than La Serra. Elegant, pure cherry fruit nose with
firm, spicy notes. The palate is concentrated and smooth, powerful
yet super-elegant, with amazing intensity and depth. Beautiful.
Rosso Barolo La Serra 2005 A single vineyard wine from vines higher up the slope. Taut
cherry and berry fruit nose with lovely freshness and elegance.
Dense and sweetly fruited on the palate but still very elegant, with
beautiful tannins and lovely fruit expression. Brilliant wine.
Rosso Barolo Serralunga 2004 Fantastic pure, aromatic cherry fruit nose. Lovely focus here,
with a liqueur-like richness to the fruit. The palate has amazing
purity with earth and spice notes, as well as great structure.
Rosso Barolo Cerreta 2004 Pure and beautifully expressive with lovely cherry and herb
character. Quite aromatic. The palate is sweet, pure, elegant and
bright showing cherry fruits with some earthy depth and structure.
Nebbiolo at its finest. 95/100 (£58.50)
Rosso Barolo La Serra 2004 Fresh, taut cherry and herb nose with smooth, complex fruit and
some earthiness. The palate shows lovely elegance, and is beginning
to open out with pure fruit to the fore. Lovely stuff, with very
fine acidity. 94/100 (£58.50)
video from BBR featuring Davide Rosso in his vineyards: