2015 Giovanni Rosso, Barolo DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
Davide Rosso’s 2015 Barolo normale is a fabulous wine of earthy intensity and lingering charm, it proved just what the doctor order after a long week and the feeling of need for a slight celebration of getting through it all and the madness of the world. I was more than thrilled with this 2015 vintage, even though I am excited to get my hands on the 2016s from Barolo with the incredible expectation of greatness, it was everything I could hope for with more than expected complexity and depth showing this winemakers skills at getting the most from his vines and the vintage, I’ve been a fan of this wine for a long time now, and this wine will keep me a big fan, it shows exceptional Nebbiolo purity and a compelling grace too its presentation. The nose starts more earth driven than fruity, kind of a surprise considering the warm year and concentration, but with air there is the pretty dried roses and hints of violets with a nice mineral tone as well and the dark berry fruit emerges with time in the glass. The palate is dense and firm, as you’d find in a Cru version, though everything folds together seamlessly in the mouth with its array of brandied morello cherries, damson plum, macerated raspberry and tart huckleberry fruits along with a touch of bacon, amaro minty herbs and black licorice.

The Giovanni Rosso, led now by Davide Rosso, was founded by the Rosso family back in the early 1980s, not old by Piedmonte standards, but they have a stellar collection of vineyard sites and they had been long time growers going back to the 1890s. This winery, a small, family-owned producer in the heart of the Barolo commune of Serralunga d’Alba has a great reputation for quality in the mold of Vajra, Vietti, La Spinetta and Oddero and Rosso focuses only on red wines with Nebbiolo being the main varietal here, as you’d guess. The passion is for Barolo and its great grape, Nebbiolo is the core mission here and their select parcels are set vin a fantastic selection of Crus, including Cerretta, La Serra, Broglio, Meriame, Sorano, Costa Bella, Lirano and Damiano. With this one being a blend of many of those top sites and highlights the marl and clay soils with Davide always trying to deliver wines that show a true sense of place and tradition. The Barolo sees a long fermentation, close to a month in most years and sees between 24 and 36 months in large used French oak casks after primary fermentation, which occurs in cement vats with daily punchdowns during that maceration period as the wine goes to fully dry. The finished result is one of the best values out there and this 2015 is an awesome bargain!
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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