2017 La Ca’ Növa, Barbaresco DOCG “Montestefano” Piedmonte, Italy.
Absolutely one of the best deals out there, the Cru Montestefano Barbaresco by La Ca’ Növa is a wonderfully expressive, deeply fruited and silky Nebbiolo to enjoy in the near term, it is a wine of pleasure and class with sense of place and transparent purity of form. The dark ruby/garnet color with hint of electric brick on the edges is unmistakably Nebbiolo and is inviting as is the seductive nose of wilted roses, crushed red berries, kirsch and mountain herbs leads to a full bodied and textural palate that highlights the ripe and concentrated vintage, but don’t be fooled, there is a serious feline muscular structure underneath here that reminds you that this is something extraordinary and non to common of a thrill to behold. With velvety tannins holding up a classic array of flavors, this Montestefano impresses from start to finish with seamless layers of black cherry, damson plum, reduced strawberries, earthy forest floor, a hint of cedar, minty licorice, liquid flowers and chalky stones that seem to echo on and on. This is fabulous stuff from a top and sometimes underrated vineyard site, certainly this Barbaresco is flying under the radar and savvy Barolo and Barbaresco drinkers will want to track this beauty down, it is sensuous Nebbiolo that is raw and sultry without pretense. This is a wine that will transport you directly to the ancient hills of Piedmonte and makes you dream of Alba truffles and long meals with friends and or family.

Marco Rocca’s La Ca’ Növa winery is located just outside of the historic village of Barbaresco and is a small winery that produces traditional styled wines that way over deliver for the price, especially Rocca’s basic Barbaresco and this masterpiece from the famed Montestefano cru. Marco’s main passion is his Nebbiolo parcels and his trio of Barbaresco wines, but as the winery notes, Marco also does Dolcetto and Barbera, which I will now search out, because if his Cru Montestefano is this good and is this insanely low priced, they must be fantastic values. The winery has prized holdings in the Montefico and Montestefano crus, as well as nice sites within the Barbaresco DOCG zone from which they make the set of Barbarescos, plus Marco does a entry level Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, another wine I think needs investigating. Rocca is old school and shy by nature, he is not into modern technology and his wines are made in rustic fashion but with extreme care and love. He does his fermentation(s) without temperature control or with stainless tanks, he only employs indigenous yeasts and everything is done by hand using open barrels, as was done in older and simpler times. The maceration, interestingly is done with a large wooden spoon, which Marco uses to stir the musts, which he notes, is very difficult and time consuming work, but it worth it, as it helps extract a much richer color as well as more polyphenols. If you’ve not had La Ca’ Növa, this is a great time to explore their wines, this must be one of the best kept secrets I’ve run across in the last few years!
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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