There is something about the wines of Piemonte that push my buttons. In particular the aromas of the regions Nebbiolo seem to invoke a soothing Proustian pleasure.
Sometimes the memories the aromas trigger startle with their clarity – the wood of my fathers work-bench under the house or the smell of my grandfathers tobacco as I sit on his knee watching him pack his pipe….at other times they fade like the colour in sand after a high tide before I can put my finger on them.
All this is apparently because the olfactory bulb is situated close to the hippocampus….the area of the brain associated with memory….maybe they get together for a few drinks and compare notes?….all I know is that the neuro-chemistry of nostalgia is in full swing when I sniff these wines.
The Correggia estate has become one of the beacons for quality within the Roero DOCG. Matteo Correggia inherited his fathers estate in 1985 and quickly built a reputation for high quality wines throughout the range. In 2001, Matteo sadly passed away in a tragic vineyard accident and today Ornella Costa runs the estate, which as become renowned for its championing of sustainable agriculture. Antonio Galloni from the Wine Advocate mentions “The late Matteo Correggia was and remains the spiritual leader of the region.”…….he is sorely missed.
The Roero is located in the lower-altitude, sandy hills to the North of the Tanaro River and northwest of the Langhe. It’s a bit of an underdog of a DOCG when you consider its heavy-hitting near neighbors. Roero gained its DOC in 1985 and was promoted to a DOCG in 2006. Wines permitted in the region are Roero Arneis, Roero Arneis Spumante and the Roero Rosso we are concerned with here produced from Nebbiolo. Initially the reds of the region were to contain no less then 95%-98% Nebbiolo with Arneis being the other permitted variety……the thought is that this was put in place to protect the Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC but it has since been amended and now wines are allowed to be produced which are 100% Nebbiolo.
And that is just what this wine is….100% Nebbiolo from around 280 metres above sea level. The soils here are 60% sand, 30% silt, 4% cay and the remainder is made up of various geological bits-n-bobs. The fruit is hand harvested and macerated on skins for 5-7 days before fermentation. Post ferment to wine is aged in old, seasoned oak barriques for 12 months before heading to tank for a further 8 months ageing. The law requires Roero to be aged for a minimum of 18 months before release….in Barbaresco it is set at 2 years and in Barolo 3 years aging is required.
Medium subdued red in hue fading towards the meniscus. The wine displays inviting aromas of wild cherry and blackberry coming to the fore. There are hints of black olive tapenade, subdued spice, rosemary, oregano, mahogany, beef consomme, roasting meats, polished leather and wafts of dried tobacco leaf.
I really enjoyed the weight and fine line of this wine on the palate…..it firmly sits at the lighter end of the medium-bodied spectrum and has a distinct mineral quality throughout. Flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant and wild cherry along with hints of roast beef, rosemary, black olive, tobacco and leather with light touches of truffle and tar. Sprightly and energetic with a sapid palate presence and an almost saline twinge. There are a raft of lovely, grainy tannin as is typical of the variety and the finish trails off with memories of black-fruits, leather and black olive. A great bistro wine….whip up a killer pasta and glug it on down.
Price: $30 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 14.5% – Source: Sample – Importer: Prince Wine Store