A classic producer, the wines are made traditionally with a lot of care in the vineyards, minimal intervention, and long elevages in large neutral Slovenian oak botti. Paolo Veglio founded Cascina Roccalini in 2003 after having farmed Nebbiolo for nearly a decade and selling the fruit to some of the most well known wineries in Piemonte (Giacosa). His great-grandfather bought the property in 1920 for the equivalent of 250 Euros. The winery doesn't carry any certifications, but Paolo follows organic and biodynamic practices. Paolo knew from a young age that he wanted to grow grapes and make wine. He began apprenticing with farmers and winemakers at the age of 14. It was then that he discovered "I didn't want to sit behind a desk, I wanted to work the fields." (I Hear you Paolo!) Paolo has several variants of Nebbiolo growing in his vineyards to promote diversity and complexity.
My Tasting Note:
Ruby red and transparent, you can see through the glass (as you should with ALL nebbiolo). The nose is immediate, pronounced and full of ripe red cherry, red raspberry, sweet roses and tar, a touch of spice and an underpinning of minerality. The palate has med+ slightly grippy but ripe tannins, excellent lift, freshness and length, with the density and intensity to give complexity and pleasure now. A fantastic wine!
The Roccalini vineyard has plantings going back as far as 1961. It sits at a southwestern exposure on a hill overlooking the Tanaro River at 1,000 ft elevation. The soil is a combination of clay and marl. Paolo believes the freshness of his wines comes from the clay soils. The grapes for the Barbaresco come from the most mature plantings. Paolo is the only one farming grapes at this site and he no longer sells any of his fruit.
The Barbaresco ferments spontaneously in concrete tanks. They do not punch down the wines, they prefer to use the traditional steccatura method to keep the cap submerged. This allows for a slower, longer maceration and more depth of flavor. The wines are aged for 18 months in Slavonian oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered.