And Then, Winter Came

Roagna, Langhe Nebbiolo, 2014

Roagna is one of the classic (and classy) Piedmont houses I've been aching to try for a while. This is a blend of young vines from their holdings in Pira in Barolo and Paje in Barbaresco. So you get a general Piedmont/Nebbiolo character without any village specifics. The nose has a lovely earth and truffle character, along with the usual cherries and some black tea, while the palate shows refined tannins - not slick though, they bite enough on the expressive finish to remind you Nebbiolo is a force to be reckoned with. It's not very complex or deep, but what it does have is the kind of magic touch that, when you find it in an entry level wine, hints at the finesse and power that permeates through the top wines. It's 6 years old and would have no problem hitting its 10th birthday. That's some Langhe! (Nov. 20, 2020)

Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco Riserva, Pora, 2011

2011 is a very useful, early drinking vintage in Barbaresco. On top of that, I found descriptions of Pora as an approachable cru in the Produttori's stable, which is why I decided it was time to treat myself and open my bottle. It needs just a little time to express itself in order to make a fairly complex, nuanced showing. The nose is a maelstrom of sour cherries, spices, earth and dried rose petals that somehow coalesce into a harmonic whole, while the palate shows a focused, textured form and rusty, savory tannins edging the finish on to an endless length. Definitely not a soft wine, rather a firm, yet pliant, one, a deep wine whose fruit has a dark overtone I would associate with Barolo.

I am not sure what greatness is, but Produttori certainly carves out a share with wines like this. (Nov. 21, 2020)

Importers: Bourgogne Crown and Wine Route, respectively.