Fratelli Brovia Rocche 2008
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
This splendid site in Castiglione Falletto, the fabled "Rocche," gives us a window onto the elegant, feminine side of Barolo. Always the most aromatic and sensual of the crus from Brovia, the Rocche dei Brovia carries its weight with a ballerina-like delicacy on top of tannins that are sweet and silky. A seductress that tempts you to the table with its near-athletic versatility, the Rocche is the one member of this special quartet of crus that will charm you from the outset.
The Wine Advocate - "An open, floral nose announces the 2008 Barolo Rocche. This is a surprisingly steely, intense Rocche with little of the early appeal this wine usually offers. Instead, readers will find a structured, inward Barolo that should develop handsomely for at least two decades. A hint of feminine, Rocche sensuality emerges on the finish, but readers are best served cellaring this beauty for at least a handful of years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028. "
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red. Classic medicinal Barolo aromas and flavors of black cherry, licorice, sage and wild mint. Then perfumed and elegant in the mouth, with a fine-grained texture and light touch. Really vibrates on the long finish, which features very fine tannins and lovely floral, medicinal lift. This Barolo will give early pleasure and age for many years."
Fratelli Brovia Winery
L'azienda Brovia is a traditional Piemontese family winegrowing estate. Giacinto Brovia began making wine there in 1863 followed by his son Antonio. Phylloxera, economic upheaval and finally the war interrupted production for almost 30 years. In 1953 Giacinto, Raffaele and Marina were old enough to take over the farm and resume winemaking. Family involvement doesn't end there however, after earning their oenology degrees, daughters Elena and Cristina have chosen to join their parents as well.
Grandfather Giacinto was a wise man and chose some of the best sites in the region for his vineyards. Brovia owns land in the best "cru" of Piedmont such as Rocche, Villero and Garblét Sue. These different vineyard plots represent a range of soil types, from heavier clay to direr limestone. The Brovias are extremely conscientious winegrowers and the accumulated experience of generations means that they know the characteristics of each of their vineyards, if not of each of the individual vines, and the wines that come from them. Nevertheless, they perform soil analyses every two years to ensure that the elements are in equilibrium for the vines to produce high quality grapes. Pruning is done with care and clusters are thinned again in the summer. Harvest is done entirely by hand and usually begins in late September with the Dolcetto, Arneis and Barbera, the Nebbiolo ripens later, near mid October.
Giancinto Brovia vinifies his wines in the classic style. Grapes are lightly crushed before going into the fermentation tanks. Fermentation generally lasts between 15 and 20 days at a temperature near 28 degrees Celsius for the Barolo, somewhat less for the other reds. the Barolo are aged for two years in "botti" made of Slavonian and French oak. The Dolcetto, Barbarseco and Barbera are aged mainly in stainless steel tanks, with a portion going into French oak barrels for 9 - 10 months. the Roero Arneis is vinified and aged in stainless steel. Brovia bottles his wines without filtration. View all Fratelli Brovia Wines
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.