2016 "Roscaleto" Barbera d'Alba
Enzo & Gianni Boglietti. Photo by Boglietti.
During our research for the wines to include in the Piedmont shipment we tried numerous Barbera's from the different denominations of the region (Barbera d’Asti, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore and Nizza). In particular, we really like the Langhe area of Piedmont, where the great Barbaresco and Barolo are produced, and we fell in love with this single vineyard Barbera “Roscaleto” located in La Morra, one of the top producing areas for Nebbiolo, in the Barolo DOCG area. The characteristics that ultimately led to our selecting this particular bottle were threefold: the complexity, potential ageability and the story behind the bottle, which made this Barbera stand out from the others.
2016 Enzo Boglietti "Roscaleto" Barbera d'Alba
Grape: 100% Barbera
Tasting Notes: The color is a dull ruby red. At the nose the wine expresses a bouquet of dark berries, chocolate and a hint of oak in the back. In the palate the wine is rich and rounded with the typical bright acidity of the Barbera. The tannins are smooth and the after taste is long and complex.
Recommended Drink Window: Best now-2025
Temperature of Service: 58-65° F
Decanting: We recommend opening this wine at least 30 minutes prior to get the full aromas and flavors. You can simply uncork and let it sit open, or you can decant if you prefer a quicker oxygenation. But as always, we suggest tasting little by little to see how the wine opens up. As Tommaso likes to say, the best decanter is your glass.
Barbera grapes. Photo by Enzo Boglietti
Barbera in the past was considered the wine of people, not so fine as the more noble Nebbiolo used for Barolo “the wine of the King”. But in the last decades with the more modern winemaking techniques and with a more attentive selection of the grapes in the vineyards the Barbera in some appellation shows great character and agreeability and they can compete with other great Italian and international wines. With its bright acidity it considered a great food-wine and Barbera wine is in a lot of restaurant’s tables around the world.
The grape is very versatile and in the different area shows different characteristics. The more famous Barbera d’Asti for the DOCG requires 85% of Barbera and the rest 15% of Piedmont native grapes: Grignolino, Freisa and/or Dolcetto. It is consider the more elegant and easier to drink young, with a nice living acidity and almost no tannins. Barbera d’Alba for the DOC regulation must be 100% and usually has more body, with a bigger tannic structure and higher acidity that makes it great also for cellar aging.
The Barbera d’Alba Roscaleto by Enzo Boglietti is aged in French oak barrels (barriques and tonneaux), 50% new oak then refined 4 months in stainless steel tanks and 2 months in bottles. It’s aa medium body wine, with soft tannins, bright acidity and important alcoholic content and it can be aged for 10-12 years.
Vineyards of Boglietti in La Morra. Photo by Boglietti.
The DOC, Barbera d'Alba, takes the name from the main town in the Langhe area, in the province of Cuneo and Asti. This area is one of the greatest economic areas of Italy. It’s a great agricultural area, it counts the production of some of the best wines of Italy, with numerous appellation: Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera d’Asti, Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba, Dolcetto di Dogliani and Pelaverga di Verduno; the world famous Tartufo d’Alba (white truffle) and the hazelnut “tonda gentile delle Langhe”. It’s also a popular industrial area, the factory of Ferrero is located in Alba. They use the hazelnuts of the area to make great sweets that are distributed all over the world as Nutella and others like Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Surprise and Estathe’ (a tea beverage very popular in Europe but not being exported to the US).
Alba is located in the province of Cuneo on the river Tanaro and shows a very unique climate, creating perfect conditions for wine and truffle. The downtown has Roman origins and during the Middle Age was known as the town of “le cento torri” (hundred towers), the town in the Middle-age was surrounded by protective walls with towers and a moat. The towers were demolished during the 1800s. In the 1700s the town was shattered by the French Revolution and in the 1800s the restoration of the city started with the Savoia.
This vineyard is located in La Morra, one of the communes of the Barolo DOCG. The soil is claim and loam and poor of organic residuals. The vines are over 50 years old and the exposition is east/south-east. La Morra has different characteristics between the two different sides: on the east side you see more vineyards, most of them Nebbiolo for Barolo; on the west side there is more sand on top of the soil and it is covered by woods and hazelnut fields and some vineyards as well: Dolcetto, Barbera and white varietals. The wines coming from La Morra sub-region are usually considered more elegant, fruity and with a structure more ready to drink young than the ones coming from other sub-regions like Serralunga d’Alba and Castiglion Falletto.
Enzo & Gianni Boglietti in the cellars. Photo by Boglietti.
Enzo Boglietti is a small, family-owned & operated winery located in the beautiful hills of La Morra in Italy’s northern region of Piedmont. They produce only ~100,000 bottles from their 55 acres of vineyards in the communes of Barolo, Monforte, Roddino, Serralunga and Sinio. The winery started in 1991, when Enzo decided to start the production from vineyards inherited from his grandfather, Matteo Boglietti, and from his grandfather on his mom's side, Giovanni Montanaro. Today, Enzo is joined by his brother Gianni, along with other family members.
Before 1991, the farm was mostly producing milk, cheeses, meat and cereals, and the grapes they grew they mostly sold, but they kept a small portion to make their own wine for the family. The key factor that brought the decision to start a wine business was the crisis of the price of milk in the late 80’s. The price of milk coming from Germany was so low that they could no longer compete. The family then followed the advice and suggestions from friends and fellow wine producers and from there their wine adventure took off.
Their aim is to make wines true to character of the grape variety and vineyard of origin while trying to respect their surroundings and the environment. In the vineyards they follow the best principles of organic agriculture, using only organic products and they’re very proud to obtain the official organic certification for all their grapes. The philosophy behind their winemaking is to respect the grape and express the terroir in all their wines. The grape growing is conducted in the biological way to maximize the expression of the grape characteristic and the “terroir”.
While many growers would be tempted to replant this superb site with Nebbiolo to make (more expensive) Barolo, Enzo loves the brooding, exotic, finely textured Barbera fruit Roscaleto produces each year.
The Barbera grown in its origin land is different than other expressions in the new world, like California and Australia. In the new world the more ripe fruits reduce the acidity and increase the “fruitness” and it can be pair also with spicy foods. This Barbera from Alba has higher and brighter acidity. In Piedmont, the locals tend to drink it with the first courses of a meal, (particularly pasta dishes), but it works really well with hearty main courses.
This Barbera pairs amazingly with risotto and lasagna, especially with mushrooms or truffle. It pairs with red meats, roasted meat, and with local cheeses like Gorgonzola. The local pasta Tajarin (what the Piemontese call tagliatelle), a fresh egg pasta, is the perfect pairing with Barbera, especially when they are made with meat sauce or truffle.
Click the link below to get the recipe!