Roagna, Dolcetto d'Alba 2019
Freshness and purity in abound. This is extremely high quality drinking, an absolute steal.
One of the historic estates of Barbaresco, Roagna have always held outstanding vineyards and focussed on massale selection and sustainability. Farming is uncertified organic, with cover crops left to promote biodiversity in the vineyard. Winemaking here is very traditional, with natural fermentations, long maceration and elevage with low levels of SO2. All elevage is in large barrels. The style of the estate’s wines has been carefully passed down through all five generations of Roagna family, with the wines made in a very traditional and classic style. These are deep, complex and structured wines that are built to age and handsomely reward cellaring.
From The Natty Boy
One of my favourite Piemonte producers, based in Castiglione Faleto which is a small village in Barolo with some fantastic restaurants if you’re ever in the area. Piemonte is a region where Nebbiolo is king, with its relatively alpine climate meaning that vineyard aspect is a crucial factor in achieving ripeness for this noble variety. For this reason there are also large plantings of Barbera and Dolcetto, which favour different soils and are a bit less picky about aspect, heat etc. Dolcetto is what the locals drink, and the quality of the wines has improved dramatically over recent years as the prices of the top regional wines Barolo and Barbaresco have skyrocketed. At Roagna all the farming is organic (not-certified) and they allow long grasses to grow between rows and don’t till the soil - erosion can be a problem here. In the winery the wines are made traditionally yet naturally with wild yeast fermentation and low levels of SO2 for stabilisation. The fruit for this wine comes from the historic Paje and Carso vineyards within the Barbaresco commune which is to the north and typically produces a more feminine style of wine compared to Barolo to the south. A fair bit goes into this wine compared to many a Dolcetto and the quality is insanely high. Rigorous sorting down to individual berries is followed by fermentation in large oak casks as is traditionally done, followed by a three month maceration and 12 months in large, neutral oak. Sultry and dark fruited on nose and palate with a nice trickle of acidity and some developing vegetal, leathery character.