GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Marcarini - A Perennial Piedmontese Classic

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 29, 2008.

Marcarini is both a historic winery of La Morra as well as gauge by which to judge the passing of time. Producing wines from two historic crus, Marcarini has endured for over 50 years producing wines in a consistent, traditional style that respects the land and the character of each vintage. Even though both crus have undergone replanting since their earliest vintages, the current offering continue to express exceptional typicity.

This style extends throughout the range of offerings in the Marcarini line-up as each vineyard has been chosen and planted with an ideal clonal selection in mind save the famed Boschi di Berri cru of Dolcetto. These pre-phyloxera vines could be considered the crown jewel of the Marcarini holdings. A mere half hectare of vines over 100 years old, this vineyard defies the standard of our day as it sits above most other vineyards at between 400 and 480 meters proudly facing west to catch the fading warmth of the setting sun. None-the-less this is the source of one of the most distinctive and coveted expressions of the Dolcetto grape.

As with most Piedmontese wineries there is a broad range of wines in the Marcarini line-up, each expressing the character of the soil, terroir, and grape in an elegant, intelligent style that continues to be remarkably fairly priced. Both the Boschi di Berri and the Barolos have proven to be exceptionally age worthy, even surprisingly so given their approachable nature. And if the wines weren’t reason enough to pay Marcarini a visit the winery itself sits like a jewel in the crown of La Morra with an expansive view over virtually the entire Langhe. Reason enough to stop by.

Roero Arneis 2007 - 88pts

First produced in 2005, currently 2000 btls per year
Glassy, quartzy nose with good intensity to the drying herbal tones and splash of almond milk 2+
Light in the mouth bordering on delicate 2
Good flavor intensity to the crystallized honey notes and green fruits with a hint of pea shoot, a bit of pear and a further suggestion of almond milk 2+
The finish features more golden toned fruits with citrussy acidity that is bracing and drying 2

Dolcetto Fontanazza 2007 -87pts

From La Morra
All stainless
The lightly spiced nose offer a touch of almost cinnamon like heat with light floral tones and a hint of black pepper bacon 2+
Suave and smooth with soft tannins and balanced acids 2
A touch of leafy greenness up front is followed by fresh plumy fruit and suggestions of high toned lemon/lime leaves 2
Finishes very clean with medium length and just a touch of bitter mouthgrab on the finale 2

Dolcetto Boschi di Berri 2006 - 93pts

Offers up a super intense nose of soil, tree bark, savory notes, mineral, oils (Motor and Clove), a bit of reductive rubber, hot (spicy) and exotic 3
Velvety in the mouth with very ripe tannins and vibrant acidity 2+
Chewy fruit start with mouth filling confiture of frutti di boschi which adds a strong sottobosco note with mineral rich soil tones in a taut, coiled package that only offers hints of the sweet core of fruit but none-the-less is admirably complex 3
Lovely finish with an aggressive structure, bracing and cleansing with a long strawberry/cherry/frutti di boschi finish flecked with mica-like mineral tones 3

Barbera D’Alba Ciabot Camerano 2006 - 87pts

9 months in botte, 9 months in Stainless
Ivy green and almost icy on the nose with simple, astringent red fruits 2
Almost sweet entry with solid acids and delicate tannins 2+
Delicately flavored with fruit skins (apple, cherry, plum) and a dark earthy streak but a bit simple 2
Soft on the finish with some round tannin popping out late balancing the gently cutting acids 2

Langhe Rosso 2005 - 88pts

Barbera 60%, Barolo 30%, Syrah 10% vinified separately

Very floral on the nose with violet tones, a touch of ash and complicating notes of celery seed and basil stem 2+
Weighty in the mouth with surprising sweetness, medium weight with round, supporting tannins ad solid acidity 2+
Marked by Barbera at first in the mouth then gaining darker, blackberry fruit tones, remains fresh considering the sweetness of the fruit 2
Clean on the finish with bright mixed berry fruit a touch of ash 2

Barolo Brunate 2004 - 91pts

40 day fermentation/maceration then 2 years in botte
Dark and earthy on the nose with incipient hints of mushroom, slight confiture of black raspberry and nuanced notes of limestone and smoke 2+
Packed in the mouth with a rich matte feel supported by bright acids and fine ripe tannins 3
A bit tight at first yet layered in the mouth with subtle notes of dried fruits, slightly roasted strawberry, red berries a touch of vegetal freshness, still a bit closed but with obvious richness 3
Very clean and precise on the finish but still short at this point 2

Barolo La Serra 2004 - 93 pts

Classic La Serra nose with a slightly vegetal, cooler, green melon rind note and dry, dusty earth tones over a core of red raspberry liquore with top notes of mint and licorice 3+
Lithe in the mouth with a fresh, feminine structure offering elegant balance between the soft tannin and good acidity 3
Astringent red fruit tones in the mouth of lingonberry and a touch of apple-y acidity offer lift to the sandy soil notes and lovely inner mouth aromatics of dried Asian spice 2+
Offers a long, open finish with sweet, fresh fruit tones and notes of macerated flowers but is a bit strict and focused within the tense structure, Strict but feminine a Dominatrix of a wine 3

Moscato d’Asti 2007 - 88pts

Fermented several times a year from frozen must to preserve freshness
A lovely nose with classic lemon/lime fruit as well as hints of heather and clover, a touch of honey and gentle suggestions of apple blossoms 2+
A very fine mousse for Moscato with good refreshing acidity 2+
Notes of honeydew melon and lemon/lime with hints of powdered sugar 2+
Finishes moderately sweet with notes of honey and apple 2


Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 3, 2008.

Looks like i need to go out and get this, Dolcetto Boschi di Berri 2006. I'm a pretty big fan Dolcetto and often prefer it as my any day wine. Funny that I come across quite a few people that don't enjoy it anywhere near as much as I do. Just had a great one from Aldo Conterno, Masante 2006. I'll certainly look to check out the Marcarini.

I also had a chance to try these two Barolo's and was very impressed but I think I mentioned this recently in another thread. Both very enjoyable and not over the top. Either way, great notes as usual and the producer info is alway appreciated.

Thanks Greg

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 4, 2008.

It's pretty cool stuff but out of the norm Eric. Absolutely worth checking out though. Check out the Cavallotto as well, great dolcetto, though i'd rather drink their Freisa!

Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 5, 2008.

Hey Gregory, I did some looking into this dolcetto and now i'm really excited. I was reading about the vineyard source being over 100 years old and not effected by phylloxera. THis sounds like an interesting bottle to try.

Where did you source this from? I see it at a place in Albany that I've never done business with on wine searcher.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 6, 2008.

Hey Eric, you can find this around, it's limited in production so it tends to disappear quickly from the market place. I tasted it in the cantina.

There is plenty of the 05 in the marketplace

Use Snooth to search for wine!

The vineyard is crazy too, woods on three sides, not a place anyone would plant Dolcetto in today, but unique wine for sure

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