Skip to main content

A Tasting at Bruno Rocca



I arrived at Bruno Rocca in the afternoon for a tasting. Elena Oberto met me outside where they were in the process of bringing in some Barbera grapes. She led me up to the tasting room and showed me the line up of wines that she had set up for me. After I asked some questions about the different sub-zones, she took me back out onto the terrace and laid out a map of Piemonte to help me get a better understanding of the lay of the land. That was just the beginning of what turned out to be an exceptional terroir tutorial.

Piemonte is located at the foot of the Alps bordering both France and Switzerland. Within the greater area, there are 59 different production regions making wines from about a dozen grapes in many different styles. The red Nebbiolo wines from Barolo and Barbaresco are the king and the queen of the area. Langhe is a sub-zone lying south of the capital city of Alba on the right side of the Tanaro River. Inside this larger area, lie the production zones for these two premium wines. Barbaresco is much smaller than Barolo and has a smaller production as well. We went back inside and started the tasting. 

I was surprised to see their white of choice as the region has a few native white varieties. Elena explained that Bruno had obtained a small plot of Chardonnay as part of a package deal when he purchased a Barbera vineyard in Nieve. Originally, he considered selling the grapes to another producer but then he decided there would be benefits in having a white wine in his line, particularly to use with paired dinners. He has been producing it since the 1990's and it is now an integral part of the line. Originally, he treated it more like a red wine using 100% oak but now only 20% of the wine spends time in French Oak barrels. 
Bruno Rocca Cadet Chardonnay Langhe 2016Fresh, fruity, and crisp with classic apple and citrus aromas and flavors and a lingering mineral finish.

From our vantage point on the terrace, we were not able to see the Barbera growing areas but Elena did show me examples of the different types of soil that their Barbera is grown on in Alba and Asti. Both of these wines were fermented in stainless steel and spent 12 months aging in French Oak barriques.
Bruno Rocca Barbera d'Asti 2016 - Fresh and fruity with bright red cherry fruit and a crisp, food friendly acidity with a mineral-laced finish. This wine came from the village of Vaglio Serra where the vines grow in soils composed of limestone, sand, and red clay.
Bruno Rocca Barbera d'Alba 2016 - Spicier and slightly rounder with a similar freshness but with a red plum character and a white pepper finish. This wine was sourced from the village of Nieve from older vines growing on limestone and blue marl.

Bruno Rocca Barbaresco 2015 - This Classico wine was elegant with floral aromas and a surprisingly approachable fruit-filled finish. The grapes came from three vineyards in Neive - Cru San Cristoforo, Marcorino, and Fausoni which have clay soils with sandy veins running through them. The wine was vinified in stainless steel and aged 18 months in French Oak barriques before bottling.
Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Currà 2015 - Softer and also very approachable, yet still very refined with light floral notes of rose with bright red cherry fruit and a fresh, lingering mineral finish. This wine hails from the Cru Currà vineyard in the village of Neive where the soils are calcareous with Sant'Agata marl and sandstone chips. It was fermented in stainless steel and spent 12 months in French Oak barriques and 12 months in large French Oak barrels.
Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Currà Reserve 2013 - This wine exhibited more intense rose floral notes and had a spicy, black fruit character with a bit of licorice in the persistent finish. It came from the same vineyard as the previous wine but from a specific block which has shown itself to create wines with greater depth. It was both fermented and then matured for 24-36 months in oak barrels. Elena referred to the "sweetness in the bouquet".

Beautiful and elegant, each was a delight to taste and all are recommended.

Since  I returned to Houston, I have enjoyed one more of their wines. The Bruno Rocca Trifolè Dolcetto d'Alba 2017 which is on the wine list at Coppa Osteria. The grapes for this wine are sourced from the village of Barbaresco. Fruit forward with black cherry aromas and flavors, Dolcetto is considered to be an anytime wine, it was absolutely delicious with our pizza and pastas.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Flavor Inspired Georgian Wine Tasting and Lunch

Last month, wine professionals in Houston were given the opportunity to taste wines from one of the country of Georgia's flagship producer, Teliani Valley, over lunch at Concura to learn about the ancestral grapes, the ancient winemaking techniques, and the modern tools which come together to make the classic wines of the Kakheti region. There are 525 grape varieties currently recorded in the country with over 135,000 acres under vine, 72.4% of those vines are located in Kakheti. The country of Georgia is located approximately 620 miles from Rome and size wise, it is just slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut. Despite its small size, it has a lot of neighbors that border it: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey; it also touches the Black Sea. The Kakheti wine region is located in the eastern part of Georgia with two river basins, the Ivri and Alazani, which both influence the wines. The vineyards are located at elevations of 800 to 2,600 feet with views of the Caucasus

Tasting with Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars

Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars. Rob and Bonnie Lloyd were in Houston in November to meet with a small group of local wine media to share their story and their Lloyd Cellars wine at Savoir . The Lloyds have family in town and were here for the holidays. Their wines are currently on the shelf at Total Wines. Rob Lloyd immersed himself in wine after graduating from UC-Irvine. He moved to Napa and put his dream in motion by working harvest at Cakebread followed by a job at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars tasting room. These experiences motivated him to go to UC- Davis to get his Masters in Enology. After graduating, he continued immersing himself in California Chardonnay with positions at La Crema and Rombauer. He would co-found JaM Cellars and be their original winemaker launching the top selling Butter Chardonnay brand. He eventually opened a consulting firm and started his own wine projects with wife, Bonnie. Bonnie Lloyd moved to San Franscico in 1996 to continue her career in

The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition Winners

This past Sunday, Taste of Italy - Houston held The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition at the Hilton Post Oak in collaboration with the Italian American Chamber of Commerce . The competition was orchestrated to help local sommeliers hone their both their service and test taking skills while showcasing their knowledge of all things wine. Competitors started with a deductive tasting and theory exam and concluded with a table service exam. The winners were announce on Monday morning at the opening of the Taste of Italy - Houston. Tony Elsinga won the top prize of $750 along with a trip to Italy. Mark Fusco was the first runner up also winning $750 and and Carlos Rosas was the second runner up earning a $500 prize. Each winner also was a gifted a jerobaum bottle of Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  The competition was originally conceived by Jaime Deleon , the Adult Beverage Sales Manager for Kroger's Houston Division and an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Mast