2020 Ronchi Barbaresco, Piemonte, Italy (750mll)

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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.

100% Nebbiolo, from ‘Ronchi’ and a palate is plush and surprisingly soft, with classic flavors of black cherry and rose petals; its fresh acidity is beautifully balanced with moderate tannins and good length.

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