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Marcarini Barolo La Serra 1996

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • JS94
  • WE93
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  • WS92
  • W&S90
  • RP93
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  • WS93
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

It is a deep, lively garnet in color, with very slight orange hues. The bouquet is delicate yet remarkably intense and persistent, reminiscent of violets and roses, liquorice and spice. On the palate, it is austere and impressive, and at the same time, well balanced, round, velvet-textured, both a fine match with food and wonderful on its own.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The first thing that came to mind when I smelled the 1996 Barolo La Serra was brandy-macerated cherries. The wine's medium ruby color is deceptive in view of its concentration. This showy 1996 Barolo offers abundant quantities of sweet black cherry fruit intermixed with high octane, concentrated, spice box characteristics, medium to full body, fine opulence, and a long, lush, powerful finish that undoubtedly conceals more tannin than exhibited. It should drink well for 10-15 years.
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Marcarini

Marcarini

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Marcarini, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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Luisa & Manuel Marchetti have been in charge of Luisa's family winery since 1990, with Manuel responsible for sales & promotions, Luisa orchestrating the wines with consultant oenologist Armando Cordero. Founded by Luisa's great-great-great-grandfather, the estate was one of the very first in the area to designate single vineyards on its labels as early as 1950. The property covers 62 acres, 42 of which are under vine. In fact, one of Marcarini's superb, historical crus is 150-year-old Boschi di Berri, whose Dolcetto vines are among the oldest in Italy, having survived Phylloxera and maintained indigenous rootstock. The Marchettis' varietal map (except the Shiraz) is almost exclusively native to the Langhe hills. The Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo are grown within the estate's original nucleus, high on the rolling terroir of La Morra: two celebrated, contiguous crus, Brunate and La Serra. The building itself (adjoining a medieval tower) goes back to the 1700s: the cool, ancient underground cellars provide an ideal environment for the wines’ classic élevage. The exceptional vineyards – all estate-owned – are the true heart of the winery. The superb locations, steepness of the slopes and nature of the terrain, exposure to the sunlight, exceptional microclimate, are not only conducive to top wines, but to non-aggressive, natural vineyard management.

The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hilltops, is one full of history and romance of the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

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.

ARP17466_1996 Item# 17466