MCF Rare Wine
The New Piedmont - Alberto Oggero
Those of you who've been reading this newsletter for a while know that, while you may like as much, it's not possible to love Barolo or Barbaresco more than I do.
Seriously...it's just the truth...
But, like all things in this business, the more popular wines get, the more demand skyrockets, while supply remains static...and then price increases really kick into high gear, most often resulting in the wines being beyond the reach of most people.
There is a silver lining of sorts to this, though - it forces people to notice the amazing work that dedicated vignerons are doing in other appellations around the region.
In Piedmont, the explosion in interest of the wines of the Alto Piemonte has been well-documented, especially in this newsletter, but I think one of the next places in Piedmont that should be on everyone's radar is the Roero...
...if only on the strength of this set of wines from the Alberto Oggero estate.
As a child, Alberto trailed his grandfather through the family vineyards in Santo Stefano Roero and, when his grandfather died in 1999, he returned to take over, having just finished his degree in enology.
He spent the next ten years both restoring the vineyards and winery and also experimenting with winemaking all along. In 2009, he bottled his first set of wines.
Whatever he did during all those 'experimental' years, he certainly figured out how to make some fantastic wines.
Starting with the Roero Arneis 2020, which is honestly one of my favorite white wines of the year so far, and easily the best and most compelling Arneis I've ever tasted.
From the sandy/limestone soils of the Santo Stefano vineyard, the juice macerates for three days on just 50% of the skins. It then undergoes temperature controlled fermentation, half in stainless and half in concrete, and then spends 12 months in Slavonian oak.
The resulting wine is deeply colored and shows this outrageous tension between the fresh, high-toned and mineral elements, and the richer, more textured, honeyed/waxy character from the light maceration. It's deep, it's texturally thrilling, it's outrageously drinkable and it's screaming for food.
Then we have Alberto's two reds, both 100% Nebbiolo and both 100% delicious. The Rosso Sandro d'Pindeta 2020 is a delightfully bright, zippy, high-toned and perfumed expression of Nebbiolo, the herbaceous streak keeps it very lively across the palate.
On the other hand, the Roero Rosso 2019, Alberto's top wine, is one absolutely gorgeous expression of pure Nebbiolo. It's deeper and richer than the Sandro, with more of the darker/dried fruit elements and a lot more earthy, rosy nuance lurking below the surface.
I find all of these wines, in addition to being delicious in every way mentioned above, to be great examples of a perfect balance between the 'natural wine' philosophy, and a commitment to terroir and typicity...
...it's 'The New Piedmont'.
Also, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I also love the awesome 1970's European Public Broadcasting style graphics on the labels.
But, you know...I'm easy like that...
Roero Arneis 2020
Rosso Sandro d'Pindeta 2020
Roero Rosso 2019
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MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011
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