Marco’s Barbera is from the vineyard Pugnane in Castiglione Falletto. Castiglione is prime country in Barolo, it’s almost shaped like a tenderloin, and producers consider it such. Barolo from here commands royal prices and so there is a growing trend to plant only Nebbiolo, ignoring the potential of Barbera in this illustrious terroir. But not Marco. He continues to grow Barbera, and what you get in the glass is just outstanding:
A vivid perfume of violets, red plums, roses and fresh raspberries leaps to the nose with a gorgeous display of fruit. To me, Barbera is to Barolo what American Zin is to Cabernet – it offers drinking pleasure driven by overt fruit textures. In the best of Barberas—which this one is—that fruitiness is combined with a certain Italian seasoning of savoriness: spices, cedar, brambly fruits and touches of roasted truffles. Wrapped up as a whole, Marco’s Barbera becomes one of the ultimate wines to enjoy: It’s great as a cocktail, it fits all kinds of different food, and it’s serious enough to age in your cellar.
The Barolo hails from four vineyards within the township of La Morra, including the grand cru of Brunate. Marco told me, “They say Barolo from La Morra is the wine of elegance,” and I certainly agree. Here is a Barolo that lives up to the title The Wine of Kings:
The classic smell of La Morra Barolo is mahogany-red Morello cherry and Marco’s Barolo has that in spades. The cherry aroma is so brilliant that just opening the bottle with fill the room with this wonderful scent. But that’s not all; further aromas of roses, wild berries, cassis, wet stones, and hints of menthol and white truffles emerge. This is an utterly seductive Barolo, with its impossibly fine, silky tannins luring you into a second glass, then a third, and yet another bottle. It melds together its gorgeous fruit and structural body into a single, harmonious, and exquisite drinking experience. Only 80 cases were made.
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