1997 Albino Rocca "Vigneto Brich Ronchi" Barbaresco

SKU #232352 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This is a spectacular Barbaresco. It is awesomely thick, rich, and textured, with unreal opulence as well as glycerin levels that define the finest offerings from the 1997 vintage. Albino Rocca hit the bull's eye in 1997. Awesome, the 1997 Barbaresco Vigneto Brich Ronchi is a tour de force in winemaking. Its dark plum/ruby color is accompanied by explosive blackberry/cherry fruit aromas. In the mouth, its viscous texture, low acidity, and overripe Nebbiolo characteristics provide remarkable intensity, and extraordinary flavor richness with notes of blackberries, cherries, coffee, smoke, licorice, and earth. The finish lasts for nearly 45 seconds. Drink this spectacular Barbaresco over the next 7-8 years.  (6/2001)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good full deep red. Superripe aromas of roasted plum, redcurrant, marzipan, grilled nuts and pungent oak spices. Dense, fleshy and seamless, with compelling depth of flavor. This wine has the sheer buffering material to handle the high percentage of new oak in which it was aged.  (12/2000)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Dark brick red. Full-bodied, soft and velvety, with lots of ripe fruit, meat and chocolate character. Just right. (2007)

K&L Notes

Absoultely one of the top Barbareschi of the vintage, mega points in all of the critics. Albino uses a bit more new oak in this vineyard and it blends in beautifully. Stunning concentration, length, spice, aging ability if you can keep your hands off it. An easy 20 years in the cellar if you'd like!

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Varietal:

Nebbiolo

- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Piedmont

- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:

Barbaresco

- Barbaresco is a small village in Piedmont rising up out of the plain to sit in the Langhe hills. Here they produce a 100% Nebbiolo wine that takes its name from the village. Barbaresco is a serious wine of power and depth with an ability to age for multiple decades. Often thought of as the feminine version of Barolo, Barbaresco is a dramatically smaller region than its cousin. Barbaresco can only be produced within 1265 acres, and a maximum of 85,000 cases per year can be produced from the more than 500 growers. It is separated into four different communes of which three dominate, Barbaresco, Neive and Treiso. Angelo Gaja is perhaps one of the best known producers in the wine world, let alone Barbaresco, lives in the village. Recent technological and viticultural advances have made the wines more consistent, deeper in color and more flavorful. A wine of great perfume, the classic nose is "tar and roses", and complexity. Barbaresco is best served with roast meats, game birds or powerful cheese.