2018 Rosavica Benotti, Roero DOCG, Piemonte, Italy.
Though founded a few years ago in 2015 and run by Ermanno Cordero, the Rosavica Benotti estate located in Piemonte’s Roero zone, which was totally new for me, actually dates back to 1955, and I am excited to report this 2018 Roero DOCG, 100% Nebbiolo, is a stunner with Barolo like character and structure. This ruby/brick red delicately earthy Nebbiolo has all the goodies expected from this grape and place with brandied cherry, damson plum, macerated strawberry and mulberry fruits, accented nicely with hints of leather, chalky stones, minty herbs, saline notes, rose petals, orange tea and licorice. Coming from sustainably grown 50 plus year old vines, and fermented with native yeasts, in tank, this Roero DOCG, by the appellation rules must see for a Rosso, a minimum of 20 months of aging, including 6 months in barrel, with Cordero doing everything he can to make his wine’s as naturally and terroir driven as possible. All of which shines here in his 2018 version, it soulfully delivers a clarity of fruit, texture, balanced tannins, and still has a delicate rustic edge, things I admire in Nebbiolo, especially with a hearty meal. With prices of Burgundy going through the roof, I’ve found myself buying and enjoying Nebbiolo more and more, and this wine really hit the spot.

A rising star of the Roero, Azienda Agricola Rosavica Benotti, named for Ermanno’s mom, is an all organic farmed estate, with just three hectares of vineyards, with their vines set on the region’s sandy soils, consisting of a core of classic marl and planted to Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Cordero’s parents, Rosavica and Antonio still help out in the vineyards and his brother, Ignazio, assists him in the cellar, making this a tight family project, in other words this a tiny estate and is dedicated to preserving traditions and focusing on terroir driven wines. As Ermanno notes, his mission is to showcase the uniqueness of his soils and makes the wines with eye on purity, natural processes and transparency. It is because of these soils, according to the winery, that these wines are vibrant, lively, nicely ripe and drinkable in their youth with heightened aromatics and what they feel is a surprising sense of complexity. I must say I was immediately drawn to this Rosavica Benotti Roero, especially as a Nebbiolo and Barolo fan, and I highly recommend it for its complete and complex substance, it is a quality and pleasing effort with a subtle tension between concentration (of fruit) and savory elements, keep an eye out for this producer and the Roero region, who’s main grapes are Arneis for white and Nebbiolo for the red.
($48 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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