The modern-style wines of La Morra that I recently tasted were, as a group, broad in the mouth with plentiful supple tannins and significant weight. Many, in fact, were a bit too weighty, and while there has definitely been a throttling back of oak and extraction, the 2006 wines of La Morra still failed to impress me. Of course, there are always exceptions, even in big, structured years that don't exactly play to the strengths of the appellation.
The key in 2006 was for the producers to adjust their winemaking to take into account the extra weight and power that is the hallmark of 2006. At their best, the 2006 Barolo of La Morra exhibit the lovely fruit that is so typical of the village, in a structured if somewhat reticent style. I enjoyed the best of these wines for the purity and clarity of their fruit. One interesting note that I did make was that it appears to me that while producers are beginning to throttle back on their use of oak, many of the wines actually appear to have become oakier!
Please also see:
Barolo 2006 - Castiglione Falletto
Barolo 2006 - Barolo
Barolo 2006 - Verduno
Barolo 2006 - Monforte
Barolo 2006 - SerralungaOk, so that's not really a fair place to stop, but the simple fact is that as many producers begin to opt for larger format wood, and in particular larger format from Slovonian oak, the number of first use barrels in the cellar has increased. This is a temporary phenomenon, but one worth noting none the less. I expect we'll be seeing many more wines with only nuanced wood notes emerging from these cellars in the very near future. A reason to rejoice!
La Morra: 247 distinct vineyards covering 243 hectares/1158 acres, or 27% of Barolo vineyards
The vineyards here are all richer Tortonian soil, well-drained and generally very well sited with many vineyards concentrated under the village of La Morra where the hillsides serve to capture much of the day's warmth.
That warmth translates into ripe wines with soft tannins and a supple feel. These are generally Barolo’s most elegant, feminine wines. They are early to mature, in relative terms, though this is also ground zero for the modernist movement in Barolo, so a rather large percentage of wines are marked by their oak treatment, meaning that some time in the cellar is required for those looking for a more integrated wood accent.
Vineyards of note:
Bunate and Cerequio – shared with Barolo
Producers of Note:
Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto
The 2006 Barolo of La Morra
Disclaimer - These wines were tasted blind in a mass tasting of about 80 wines over 4 hours. These are simply first impressions of these wines. Being young Barolo, and from a tough vintage, these were difficult wines to analyze. My notes should be treated as a simple starting point and are not meant to be definitve in any way.
Eraldo Viberti ‘Rocchettevino’ - Wood and jam, lingonberry jam and cedar, nice freshness, nice core of fruit, round, supple, rich, powerful yet not terribly forced, nice texture, no real flavor or inner mouth perfume, could improve, tough wood tannins on finish, cut finish short, very minty tones on finish, good juice.
Andrea Oberto ‘Vigneto Rocche’ - This is jammy but with real fruit, quite ripe, apricot notes, a bit of pastry, maybe some bitter almond paste, coal tar, coal oil, round, fresh, good balance, rustic, clean, cool, nice savory core, some fruit around the edges, nice depth and yet remains rather light, clean, long briary finish, with a nice blood orange tone.
Vietti ‘Brunate’ - Deep fruit, touch of mineral, licorice, anise seed, intense liquory wild raspberry fruit, touch of graham cracker, a touch lean on entry, clear and cool, nice taut texture, dark fruit, touch of bitter seeds, a bit simple bit with good power on the back end, packed with tannin on the finish which shows some mint and cherry skin.
Aurelio Settimo - Sweetly fruity, a touch gamy, ripe, fruity, chalky, sweet, saccharine floral and herb root notes, nicely fresh in the mouth, some nice herb tones cool and crisp, a bit dry, a bit savory, nicely done with decent complexity a touch of porcini, nice root tone, dry hard old school finish.
Cascina Ballarin ‘Bricco Rocca’ - Shallow nose, some nice earthy root tones, wild cherry, a touch sweet/candied/medicinal – shallow in the mouth, a nice crisp tannic edge, warm cherry fruit, a touch spiced, nice almost plush feel, nice burnished fruit a touch of spice on the finish, a touch of orange peel/citrus tone decent length.
Agostino Bosco ‘La Serra’ - Cherry in alcohol, camphor, touch of oak, clear, earthy, touch mineral, sandy soil, very soft entry, then good acidity, still a bit soft and fleshy, nice flavor profile, savory and burnished, slight dried fruit tone, grape seed tannins, easy but nicely done.
Eugenio Bocchino ‘La Serra’ - Over ripe fruit/ very ripe fruit, nice fruit though, a nice touch of nettle in among some sweet new but not toasty wood, sour cherry and sweet fruit, very soft at first, nice rigid feel to the mp, good fresh tannins, nice fresh core but then rather compressed on the finish, nice fruit though.
Mario Marengo ‘Brunate’ - Cherry in alcohol, a bit woody, a touch of ash, powerful, a touch of quinine, a touch forced, nice clarity on the mid-palate, cool fruit, crisp tannins, nice richness, feels a bit closed, dark fruit, savory fruit, nice follow through, a bit of wood tannin on the finish.
Marcarini ‘Brunate’ - Minor chinato tone, very subtle sweetness some roasted almost cocoa dusted edges to the dark prugnie fruit, soil, mineral soil, soft entry, round, supple, a slight bitter backing note, good feel, soft but plentiful tannins, nice soft finish.
Rocche Costamagna ‘Rocche del Annunziata’ - Soft nose, a bit of herbal sweetness, a bit herbal, even a touch rhubarby, soil, mineral, very focused and clear, rather soft on entry, nice unfettered wine, clear, herbal notes, small but precise wild cherry fruit, a touch of savory dried meats and incipient porcini, nice tension and balance in the mouth, nice follow though with savory, rooty fruit, good length.
Oreste Stroppiana ‘Vigna San Giacomo’ - Nice savory nose, a touch of cologne, dried floral, dried herb, vetiver, subtle, clear, touch of raw meat, mineral water - clean in the mouth, nice and crisp, fine tannins, soft core of fruit, a bit simple but with nice fruit, nice bright persistence, nice cut on the finish, fine tannins.
Monchiero ‘Roere’ - Very beefy nose, candied red fruit, toasty of, nice mouthfeel, bright, sour cherry/sour berry fruit, nice balance, a touch of elegance here, syrupy flavors of red raspberry and earth, compressed on the back end, nice touch of bitter cherry fruit, a bit short.
Luigino Grimaldi ‘Vigna San Biagio’ - Liquory, smoky sweet cherry fruit, wild berry jam, integrated wood spice, clean, clear, crisp wine with notes of bitter melon rind, soft tannins, liquory wild raspberry fruit on the palate, a bit simple but suave, finishes a bit short but with nice fresh fruit and crisp fruit tannins, moderately scaled.
Gianfranco Bovio “Rocchettevino” - Soft nose, floral, roses, a bit sweet, swee licorice, ripe but real, soft in the mouth but broad, nice core of fruit, slight bitter cherry tone, easy to understand and uncomplicated, soft tannins, good persistence, nice seedy edge.
Gianfranco Bovio ‘Arborina’ - Coffee extract, toasty grains, breakfast cereal, herbal, dried lime peel, blood orange, moderately fresh with nice rd fruit tone son the palate, a bit front loaded with blood orange, followed up with nice herbal/balsamic tones, real balsa wood tones on backend, short finish, nice fruit tones though.
Rocche Costamagna ‘Bricco Francesco’ - Sweet, raw woody, nice tannins, fine grained, warm feeling in the mouth, nice red fruits, not very aromatic and simple, a bit blocky, too tannic in the finish, short.
Gianfranco Bovio ‘Gattera’ - Nice nose, liquory red fruits, sandalwood, a touch terpene, raw wood, sweet entry, coffee cream, soft, easy style, nice red fruit, lots of tannin layered over it, short.
Damilano ‘Brunate’ - Extracty, some veal base, peppery, spicy, herbal, a bit heavy but quite nice though with some underlying cola, soft, shallow, bitter cherry fruit, a bit dark in the mouth, refreshing up front, easy styled, a bit of an oddball with decent flavors but a bit lacking in texture, decent finish.
Casetta ‘Vigna Case Nere’ - Perfumy, floral, red raspberry liquor, sandy soil, a bit like good cough medicine, nice density, bitter berry fruit, a bit chewy even, nice extract, without being massive, lots of fruit, Short, shallow finish, a bit minty, really dry tannins on finish.
GianPiero Marrone ‘Pichemej’ - Cherry in alcohol, earth, leather, spice, floral,simple and a touch candied, a touch flat and lifeless in the mouth, very cool and crisp along the mp, bright, crisp, shallow fruit, a bit cooked out and lifeless with a slightly heavy tannic load, I can see this improving though.
Mauro Molino ‘Vigna Gancia’ - Candied, herbal, rootbeer, medicinal, chinato, powerful, a bit dense in the mouth, well made but boring, some nice fruit, some herbal twists but blocky and inelegant. It’s a lot of wine though.
Ciabot Berton ‘Roggeri’ - Raw and candied, floral and wood, pledge, good fresh acid, tannins are well managed, rather neutral in the mouth, woody aromatics, touch tannic finish, woody.
Mauro Veglio ‘Rocche dell’Annunziata’ - Sour fruit, tar oil, touch of cream/coffee cream, a bit herbal in the mouth, a bit sandy, soft, too soft but with some nice flavor interest, very supple, short finish.
Mario Gagliasso ‘Rocche del Annunziata’ - Sweet woody spice, bacon fat, black pepper, cool, a touch pillowy, lean, not much flavor, no depth, modest breadth, nice vanilla cream with raspberry edge on the backend.
Cordero di Montezemolo ‘Bricco Gattera’ - Candied, cola, smoky, buttered toast, candied blackberry, slick, smooth, seamless, tight tube of sweet blackberry fruit, fairly fresh, plenty of tannins, slick Wine Spectator wine.
Marcarini ‘La Serra’ - Very dried root, beet root, quinine, angelica root, a bit fat, almost creamy in the mouth, plush, no detail, a bit boring but refreshing, more bitter roots/quinine on the finish.
Enzo boglietti ‘Fossati’ - Herbal, strawberry, strawberry seeds, a bit of asphalt, cigarette smoke, a bit too soft on entry, nice almost fleshy feel, anonymous fruit, nice flavors though a bit muddy.
Ciabot Berton ‘Ciabot Beton’ - Coffee, slightly candied/medicinal/sweet chinato, flat in the mouth, has fine acid but falls short very low key fruit, dark, touch finish.
Tenuta L’illuminata ‘Tebavio’ - Candied, earthy, molasses, coffee candy, roast beef, nice mouthfeel, good acid/fruit balance, shallow, nice fruit tannins.
Cascina del Monastero ‘Bricco Luciani’ Smoky and deep, wiry herbal, minty fruit, a fair amount of oak, moderately fresh, dried out fruit, nice burnished fruit tones in the back ground, smooth, polished feeling, red fruit is bright, cranberries, wood tannins crush finish.
Renato Ratti ‘Marcenasco’ - Dirt old bouillon element, very meat extracty, a bit candied, a bit gamy, fat, flat, rich in the mouth, same sort of dirty, bouillon element, soft mp, tough finish, not much flavors, a touch of sweetness.
Silvio Grasso ‘Ciabot Manzoni’ - Slightly herbal, lemon verbena, citrus herbal, nice concentration up front then extracted bitter mid-palate, touch, forced, bitter finish.
Michele Chiarlo ‘Cerequio’ - Cooked fruit, chocolate, here we get some tootsie roll, lots of sickly sweet fruit here with marshmallow tones and some cola, rich, fruity, nice extracty raspberry fruit, wood tannin on finish is dry and raw.
Francone - Very herbal, volatile, terpene and paint thinner, nothing really going on in the mouth, some sweet edge raspberry fruit but the hard, raw, earth, is not attractive.
Mario Gagliasso ‘Torriglione’ Stinky, sour, lactic, soft, innocuous, very soft tannins, blech.
Aurelio Settimo ‘Rocche’ - Flooring and jam, camphor, broad and very thin in the mouth, no core, bitter fruit, some fruit on finish, bitter cherry/bitter melon.
Cascina del Monastero - Sawmill, jammy black raspberry fruit, leather, sour vanilla background tone, flabby, fat, no structure, some flavor.
Silvio Grasso ‘Bricco Luciani’- Smoky, touch of burnt herbs, lightly charred marshmallow, flat, fat, harsh tannins, tough, nothing going on here.
Gianni Voerzio ‘La Serra’ - Huge extracted nose, balsamic, 100% new fo? Polished, extracted, no core, bitter wood on mp, old coffee, jammy black fruit, extracted to hell finish.
Enzo Boglietti - Char, rubber boots, eggs, thick, like some weird, cheap fake chocolate but not as good as tootsie rolls, bitter tannins and bitter cherry extract on the heavily-extracted finish.