Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France

Barolo Vigna La Rosa

Barolo Vigna La Rosa – beautiful name apart – is a single vineyard on the Fontanafredda estate in Serralunga d’Alba within the Barolo DOCG.  Since 1998 the estate has been owned by the Farinetti family of Eataly fame, purveyors of Italian gastronomic products around the world.    The estate became fully organic in 2007 and biodynamic from 2012.  The wines are made in a traditional manner and aged in large oak casks for two years.  

I was fortunate enough to catch a vertical of the wines introduced by the very engaging Luca Martini, best sommelier in the world (2013), based in Arezzo, Tuscany. The service of the wine deserves a special mention as the tasting took place on one of the hottest days for years in London, mid-30ºs.  The wines were held at 8ºC before they were poured with the result that they were at a perfect 17-18ºC by the time we tasted them.  Bravo! 

2013 – youthful orange peel and violet notes, nail polish (presumably from those two years in mildly oxidative oak) and red fruit, sweet cherry on the palate. Very inviting now, should gain in complexity over years or decades in the bottle.  

2012 – one of the very top wines of this all very good line up. The wine has all the complexity of the 2013 but with added freshness and acidity. The latter should guarantee a long life.  Truly outstanding.  

2000 – a warm year was reflected in the glass with baked plum fruit, suppleness and a maturity beyond its 17 years (a touch of browning on the rim).  Some bitterness on the finish but still a very creditable result.  

1999 – a famous vintage now showing a fascinating range of aromatics – a bit volatile, a range of citrus, dill and mint, a touch dirty but in a good way.  The famous Barolo tannins shine through, the ‘fist in a white glove’ says Luca Martini.  

1997 – the twenty-year-old in this line up: a warm year, tobacco and tar, smooth in the mouth, then a touch of warm alcohol on the finish; firm, dry tannins, perhaps lacks a bit of acidity.  

1996 – fully tawny in colour, precise and complex with violet, rhubarb, tobacco and chocolate aromas, a dry and supple palate and a nice grippiness. A fabulous vintage to finish this line-up.  

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