2018 Ronchi di Giancarlo Rocca ‘in amphŏris’ Bianco Langhe DOC, Piedmont, Italy (750ml)

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Established in the 1900s, the Rocca family’s wines are still somewhat of an insider’s secret, representing some of the better values in Barbaresco. Winemaker Giancarlo Rocca is the fourth generation of the Rocca clan to live in the house built by the family, surrounded by ‘Ronchi’ cru vines, which runs along the eastern edge of the appellation, near the historic town of Neive. Bordered by Montestefano to the north and Moccagatta to the south, the vineyard is shaped like a perfect amphitheater, capturing the sun and giving Nebbiolo both the ripe concentration and elegance that is the hallmark of fine Barbaresco. In recent years, the family has planted Arneis vines, Piedmont’s noble white grape, and is exploring aging wines in terracotta amphorae, as shown here. This is an ancient technique that is seeing a bit of a revival. When done well—sadly, this is not always the case—it can produce compelling wines.

Giancarlo can walk from his cellar door to his vines in less than a minute. All work is performed by hand, and as sustainably as possible. No herbicides or pesticides are used. This wine is 100% Arneis from 10-year-old vines. The grapes were harvested by hand, destemmed, then fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks. The wine was aged in terracotta amphorae for eight months, for more texture and depth, and was bottled unfined and unfiltered, resulting in a deliciously unforgettable wine.

Delicate aromas of wildflowers and white fruits. The palate is clean and elegant with complex flavors of pear, dried orange peel, bitter almond, chamomile and dandelion greens. Medium-bodied, with lovely texture and great minerality. Bright and fresh to the finish.

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