A Bumpy Road Indeed
Luigi Pira - Serralunga
The wines of Luigi Pira definitely lean towards the modernist side of the equation, though working with fruit from Seralunga it seems as though the effects are less obvious than for other producers. In the past the wines struck me as frequently too extracted having traded elegance for power, and while this still seems to be the case with the Vigna Rionda, the other bottlings from 2009 show much more restraint, particularly the very attractive straight Barolo.
9000 bottles produced from three small vineyards, all aged in 25 HL wood
Meaty, spicy, and rather nicely expressing Serralunga terroir, on the nose. This is a bit spicy on entry with a slight black medicinal tone, a light touch of wood and wild strawberry fruit in a lean, fresh, crisply styled wine. The tannins are abundant though ripe, showing a hint of dryness, and the acidity pronounced if well balanced, all contributing to the lovely clarity on the palate. There’s nice length to the earthy finish with an incipient hint of porcini. You could teach a class with this. Classic Serralunga Barolo 92pts
1.5 hectares of 53 year old vines planted in chalky, clay soils producing 7,000 bottles per year. Aged in large format wood for two years.
Limestone immediately on the nose over dark, dried black cherry fruit with hints of kind of black small seeds/watermelon seeds the way they are aromatic in the mouth. This feels a bit forced perhaps but it delivers big black fruit that is medicinally framed and full of minerality, with nice cut on the palate, a touch of late arriving dried mushroom, and tar, and a big finish with lot of power to the long clear black fruit finale, 92pts
A little over 2 hectares yeilding about 9,000 bottles a year. This is aged in 500 liter barrels, 25 to 30 percent new for the first year before being transferred for a second year in big wood,
Meaty and floral on the nose with rose petals and some nice minerality but the red currant fruit shows both sweetness and assertive medicinal notes. This is broader on the palate, richer with a little less verve than the Margheria, though it does show fine minerally and tarry depth with gentle wild raspberry notes over the mineral cut, The tannins are also softer and the wine fades away on the finish more quickly ending on a somewhat diffuse note. 90pts
One hectare producing about 4,000 bottles a year. This spends one year in barrique, about a third new, then a second year in larger format wood.
Shows some toast and vanilla on the nose over black fruit, shoe polish, tight, small red berry fruit, and a bit of dr pepper spiciness with that hint of vanilla married to black cherry fruit. Soft and supple on entry, and surprisingly open, showing good focus on the mid palate with lots of mineral laced fruit and very fine tannins but the tannins continue building in the mouth cutting the finish a bit short. Wow this is extracted with massive tannins on the finish but even through the tannins the fruit, with hints of rust and red currant, is fighting to get out. This might very well prove to be too tannic for the fruit here. Time will tell. 88pts