Although many were hard work to taste young because of their sheer intensity and structure, 2006 seems to be living up to its billing as a great vintage. The tannins are starting to soften a touch and allow the fruit out of its cage, though it must be said many are like this wine and still need several years in bottle to be at their most desirable. But what promise. Gripping, tense, lively and fresh. Clearly more tannic than the 2012s it was tasted alongside but there is tremendous purity and sweetness of fruit to counteract the colossal structure. Complex notes of mocha and Asian spices mixed with racy cherry and cassis fruit. Thrillingly fresh and edge. A titan amongst Barolos. A vineyard that is only ever released after ten years in bottle, first released in the 2003 vintage. The ageing is the same as the rest of the Cru; two years in barrel, with an additional seven years in bottle. Up to 300 cases are made annually.
Roberto Voerzio is undeniably one of the finest stars of Piedmont and a Barolo producer with a world-wide following, his philosophy is a simple one; from the healthiest vines, in the greatest plots, come the very finest wines. He is one of those rare producers who has near mythical status as a vine grower. His vineyard management is meticulous, tending to treat each vine individually like parents would do with their children. This attention to details sees him amongst the vines throughout the season, green harvesting, pruning, and leaf thinning which, together with his policy of having high planting density, result in an exceptional small production. The yields are the lowest in the region, 1.5kg of fruit per vine for the crus and even 3kg per vine for Dolcetto and Barberas - the yield of most top growers' best crus. In the winery Roberto's vision is to make the purest expression of Nebbiolo as possible. Fermentations are with wild yeasts, extractions are very gentle using the light "pumping over" technique, elevage takes place in both french oak with a maximum of 30% new, both large casks and barriques. The wines are an exquisite mix of intensity and lightness, measured concentration and bright juicy, moreish flavours. The Voerzios are not afraid to reject a cuvee either, if hail or a fermentation deviation prevents quality from being tip top, as with Cerequio in 2011 and La Serra in 2006. Some of Italy's greatest wines.
Barolo is greatest, most intense and expressive display of the Northern Italian grape variety Nebbiolo. The name is given to bottles from the Piedmont area, made exclusively from Nebbiolo, and coming from the five core towns of Barolo, La Morra, Serralunga d'Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d'Alba, along with certain other peripherary villages. The wines offer power, aromatics and longevity that is almost unmatched elsewhere in Italy, perhaps the world. Top, forward thinking producers have pushed huge changes in the winemaking culture of the area, and as a result finer, purer Barolo is being produced than ever before.