Bruno Rocca of Piedmont
Bruno Rocca puts it this way, “Paradoxically, our goal is not to ‘make wine’ but to guide its evolution to help it best express itself. Our land, not the producer, is inscribed on the wine.”
Documents show that the Rocca family were in the town of Barbaresco as early as 1834.
Although they grew grapes, it was not until 1978 that they started to make wines with the family name on the label.
By the 1990s their winery was well known and recognised on an international level.
The children of Bruno Rocca, Luisa and Francesco, joined the family business in the 1990s and we will be most fortunate to have a visit from Luisa next week.
The two wines that the Piedmont area are best known for are barolo and barbaresco and, although they are both made from nebbiolo grapes, the soil is responsible for quite different wines.
The earth in barbaresco is richer in nutrients and the result is a wine with less pronounced tannin than barolo; I have often heard of the former wine being more “feminine”.
A few years ago, there was a movement in barolo to persuade the authorities to allow the addition of some merlot to their nebbiolo.
Thankfully, this idea to make it more “user-friendly” at a young age has not been allowed. As we have historically done, we just have to give this great wine time to develop.
Cognisant of this, the law requires a minimum of three years ageing before release of barolo, and two for barbaresco.
We actually have ten different wines in stock from Bruno Rocca and I will tell you about a few.
I have seen the Bruno Rocca Barbaresco 2015 DOCG referred to as “the Queen of Piedmont”.
The word intense describes its garnet red colour as well as the blackberries, black cherries and plums. There are overtones of slightly withered rose and violet petals and spices. It is warm and elegant with long lasting flavours and a note of cocoa.
The website Vinous writes of a “lovely mid-palate depth and suppleness in a forward style that will provide considerable pleasure upon release”.
It adds, “Pliant and inviting, with soft contours and generous, radiant fruit and an inviting personality that will be hard to resist.” $55.20.
Bruno Rocca Nebbiolo Fralu 2016 is made from fairly young vines between five and seven years of age. It gives us an opportunity of enjoyment, but not with quite the complexity that older vines can offer in their barbaresco. $30.45.
In the 1980s, in the province of Asti, a change started to take place with barrera, the most widely planted grape in all of Piedmont.
The wines were encouraged to go through malolactic fermentation. This second reaction, caused by bacteria, softened the acidity by converting it from malic acid (green apples) to lactic acid (milk).
Everyday wines became far more complex and enjoyable.
Our Bruno Rocca Barbera d’Asti 2016, from the village of Vaglio Serra, is intense red with purple reflections.
It has scents of ripe plum, blackberry, black cherry and blueberry followed by hints of almonds and hazelnuts. It is mouth-filling, warm and savoury.
This would be splendid with risotto, pasta or even goat cheese. $28.60 .
Dolcetto means “little sweet one”. I am not sure if it refers to sugar levels in the grape, or the hills where it is cultivated. It ripens early and is ready to enjoy earlier than nebbiolo and barrera.
Bruno Rocca Dolcetto d’Alba Trifole 2017 is produced from grapes that originate in the town of Barbaresco and they offer an aromatic nose of cherry, violets, mint, blueberries and eucalyptus. Overall, it is round and warm with great softness and good grape tannins. The lingering aftertaste shows hints of almonds. $22.90.
There is also a white wine that we carry, and it is Bruno Rocca Chardonnay Cadet 2016. It is made from vines in the village of Neive that have an average age of 40 years.
Eighty per cent of it is fermented in stainless steel and the rest in French oak barriques.
The colour is straw yellow and the age of the vines assures that it is highly complex. It is spicy with noticeable acacia honey, fruity melon scents, golden apple and pineapple followed by a light hint of minerals. The aftertaste is persistent. $32.95.
They are known for being one of the best barbaresco producers and we also have their Barbaresco Rabaja 2014 for $94.60 and their Barbaresco Riserva Curra 2012, for $181.20.
All the Bruno Rocca wines can also be found at our sister company, Discovery Wines.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George’s (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm
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