Rocche dei Manzoni Barolo Vigna Big 1996
Rocche dei Manzoni was founded by Valentino Migliorini in 1974. The winery is located in the small enclave of Manzoni, in Monforte d'Alba. The buildings that make up the complex fit perfectly into the beautiful hilly landscape of the Langhe. A place where art, culture and music come together and create a unique opportunity to explore the great vintages that the Langhe has to offer.
In 1998, the Pianpolvere Soprano wine cellar in the vineyard of Bussia was purchased, and is run as an independent entity. It is a biologically run winery that, starting from harvest 2017, boasts the biodynamical certification too.
The production philosophy is based upon a desire to intervene as little as possible in the wine cellar operations. However, this does not mean that they do not have their own style. Rocche dei Manzoni has always been faithful to its core processes and these are based on the use of new small oak barrels for red wines. Over the years Rodolfo has learned how to properly blend wood to wine and this led him to introduce the use of egg-shaped concrete wine tanks in 2008. Thanks to these, the winery has managed to find the keystone to producing wines that are even more elegant and silky smooth.
The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo wine 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 hills, is full of history and romance centered on 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 wine, 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 Barolo wine 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 soil types.
The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.
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 Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.