Giovanni Rosso Serralunga d'Alba Barolo 2013
We are a small, family-owned producer in the heart of the Barolo commune of Serralunga d'Alba. We make only red wines, and our passion is for Barolo and its great grape, Nebbiolo.
Since the 1890's the Rosso family has farmed vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba, notably the Crus of Cerretta, La Serra, Broglio, Meriame, Sorano, Costa Bella, Lirano & Damiano. During the early 1980's Giovanni Rosso restructured the vineyards with the aim of growing the best fruit.
Giovanni's son, Davide, studied Oenology and gained invaluable experience in France. In 2001 Davide, then 27 years old, took charge of the vinification & affinamento/elevage of the wines with one goal in mind: "Wine should be a perfect copy of its terroir"... in this case from the slopes of Serralunga d'Alba, among the finest soils in the world.
The Giovanni Rosso cantina (winery) is located in the hamlet of Baudana, just a couple of kilometres north of Serralunga d'Alba village. A traditional family cascina, or farmhouse, it houses the fermentation, ageing, bottling and labeling facilities as well as the offices.
In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.
Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.
Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.
Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.
In the Glass
Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.
Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.
If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.