A 95-point cru Barolo that will blow you away

A 95-point cru Barolo that will blow you away
Langhe superstar Luca Roagna has cemented his place in the very top echelons of Barolo and Barbaresco production with a breath-taking range of 2013s. Long-awaited and much hyped, as is customary here, the wines were aged in large casks for five years so as to eke out caressing, beautifully constructed tannins and tensile complex fruit. Quality is at an all-time high at Roagna and the 2013s have a chiselled profile married to soaring aromatics and tremendous length of flavour.

These are wines that speak to the Piedmont of old but with a refinement and attention to detail that sets hearts racing in the modern era. Pira is every bit a world-beater and, in keeping with Luca’s strict policy, the minimum vine age for any of his single crus is twenty five years old although in reality they are more often closer to fifty. Moreover the wines spend around sixty days on the skins to ensure the gentlest possible extraction. Pira is Luca’s home monopole vineyard and it surrounds the winery in Castiglione Falletto. Posited on the same slope as the famed Rocche di Castiglione, just slightly lower in elevation and facing Serralunga d’Alba, Pira has a complex mixture of limestone, sand and blue marl in the soils and a south-easterly exposition, yielding wines of immense detail, freshness and complexity. We re-tasted the 2013 from bottle in the cellar last week and it simply blew us away.

The 2013 Barolo Pira is dark and powerful to its core. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2013 is all nerves and muscle. Iron, blood, smoke, cedar, smoke and licorice give the 2013 much of its super-distinctive flavor profile. In the glass, the 2013 is wonderfully deep and exotic, with layers of dimension that open up effortlessly over time. Readers will have to be patient with the 2013, but it is hugely promising. Sadly, prices for the Roagna wines have gone up dramatically in recent years. If there is one wine that readers should absolutely not miss, it is the 2013 Barolo Pira. - 95 points, Antonio Galloni (October 2018)