GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Rocche Costamagna returns to La Morra

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 28, 2008.

Rocche Costamagna

Wines tasted

Dolcetto d’Alba Murrae 2006 - 86pts
Dolcetto d’Alba Rubis 2006 - 87pts
Barbera d’Alba Annunziata 2005 - 86pts
Barbera d’Alba Annunziata 2006 - 88pts
Barbera ‘Alba Superiore Rocche delle Rocche 2005 - 89pts
Langhe Nebbiolo Roccardo 2007 - 89pts
Langhe Rosso Merlot 2005 - 87pts
Barolo Rocche Dell’Annuziata 2004 - 88pts
Barolo Bricco Francesco 2004 - 91pts

The energetic Alessandro Locatelli has undertaken the continued restoration of the Costamagna cellars. With a history that goes back almost 150 years it was not a task to be undertaken lightly. Allowed to lapse into inactivity following the Second World War, Alessandro’s parents chose to begin anew in 1969. While it took awhile for the vineyard, 9 acres owned and 6 leased, to return to the qualitative level warranting bottling under the Costamagna Brand, finally bottling resumed in 1975 under the New Label Rocche Costamagna. Being in La Morra and having vineyards in the famous La Morra cru of Rocche del’annunziata, the Locatelli family wanted to reinforce not only the connection to the history of the old estate but also to the famed land of La Morra.

This respect for history extends beyond the winemaking as the family compound includes not only the cantina with it’s panoramic view of the Langhe but also a treasure trove of books in their Cultural Center that serves as a reference center for the food, wine and history of the territory.

The wines have a somewhat modern take to them. Respectful of the terroir of La Morra never forced and the style is seeing a move towards a more traditional expression. Currently the wines

Dolcetto d’Alba Murrae 2006 - 86pts

All in Stainless from La Morra, 16,000 bottles produced
4-5 day maceration
Roasting plum on the nose, a sweet tarry core of fruit, slightly jammy with clay driven earth tones 2
Soft and easy in the mouth with small tannins and integrated acids 2
A bit on the dark and earthy side with an edge of austerity to the tannins, neither particularly fruity nor complex, but fresh 2
Finished in a more mineral register with plum and cherry pit notes 2

Dolcetto d’Alba Rubis 2006 - 87pts

A selection of fruit from higher elevations and older vines, 35 years and up, 8,000 bottles produced
1 week maceration, ageing in stainless

More mineral driven on the nose with greater depth and complicating floral and balsamic tones 2+
Gentle texture with ok acidity and well managed tannins 2
Soft in the mouth but elegant with good intensity to the dark berried fruit notes with an earthy edge 2
Light on the finish but with some length and a light floral finale 2

Barbera d’Alba Annunziata 2005 - 86pts

8,000 bottles produced, 5-6 week maceration, 12 months in barrique of second and third passage.

Smoky on the nose with a dark, hot tar and light toast initial aroma under which are fresh notes of green ivy and light vegetal tones but the wood is a bit too assertive and obscures the core of fruit 1+
Big and plush entry with finely integrated acid and nicely managed tannins 2+
Intense candied fruit flavors, slight violet pastille note, good oak contrast in the mouth as it doesn’t dominate the almost chewy fruit 2+
Zesty acids pop on the finish refreshing the mouth and adding length to the asphalt finish

Barbera d’Alba Annunziata 2006 - 88pts

Fresh and crisp on the nose with green herbs, green tobacco, laurel leaf, and citrussy red berry fruit 2+
Elegant and juicy in the mouth with lovely acids and a whisper of tannin
Juicy and pure amarena cherry and lingonberry fruit in the mouth with a balsamic edge 2+
Lovely bitter edge on the finale with strong notes of freshly cut red fruits and decent length, excellent typicity 2+

Barbera ‘Alba Superiore Rocche delle Rocche 2005 - 89pts

Cigar ash and a bit of sour wood on the nose then very slightly fudgy with astringent red berry fruit accentuated by cigar, cigar box and a touch of dried juniper 2
Big and intense in the mouth without much weight, great acids, very fine tannins and a touch of sweetness 3
Dark fruited, coca tinged plums, slightly astringent, rhubarb note, layered but fresh 2+
Tight and a bit short on the finish with nicely integrated wood and a subtle ribbon of fruit that blossoms on the finale 2+

Langhe Nebbiolo Roccardo 2007 - 89pts

8,000 bottles produced, 5-day maceration then ageing in wood for 6 month, half botte half used barrique

A bit reticent on the nose with a sweetness to the ripe fruits, touch of watermelon rind and green herb offering freshness, just a touch of wood 2
Deceptively suave in the mouth, elegant with luxurious richness yet fine, measured structure underneath 3
Classic array of small red fruits in the mouth, a bit of nopale, spicy vegetal hints, dried tar, fresh hints of anise seed, very good Nebbiolo 2+
Tight and short with emerging tannins and succulent acid 2

Langhe Rosso Merlot 2005 - 87pts

From vines planted in 2002, 18 months in barrique then 2 years in botte
Cocoa, plum compote, maraschino sherry, just a whiff of vegetal notes then toast, cinnamon toast, a bit of cigar wrapper, turns a bit jammy 2
Sweet attack, almost velvety but the solid acidity keeps it lively, fine tannins, a bit weighty 2+
Deep and darkly earthy with a touch of licorice, bit of baking spice, blackberry, plums and a touch of graphite 2
Solid intensity of plumy fruit on the finish with gentle spice notes, long and engaging 2+

Barolo Rocche Dell’Annuziata 2004 - 88pts

23,000 bottles, 7-8 day maceration, 2 years in Slavonian oak botte
Nice intensity on the nose with some dried fruits and rose petals but pretty shy 2
Feels right in the mouth, good acids, ripe tannins, slightly angular, Medium-medium full body and building tannins 2+
Slightly liquory wild berry fruits, a touch of clay driven earthiness, a savory edge recalling green tea and tobacco 2+
A bit tight on the finish with good length and a finale of tar and licorice driven soil tones 2+

Barolo Bricco Francesco 2004 - 91pts

A selection of 35 year old vines, massale selection, cluster trimmed before harvest, with a later harvest, 7-10 days, 7,000 bottles produced, 8 day maceration, 2 years in Slavonian oak botte
Bette freshness on the nose, more calcium driven mineral tones, a touch of confiture to the wild strawberry/strawberry seed fruit, very aromatic, some dried rose and a bit of poppy seeds 2+
Elegant, refined and juicy in the mouth with medium full body and excellent balance 3
Freshly fruity, cherry juice, clay earth notes, a savory edge, a touch of woodsy licorice/angelica root 3
Lon finish with savory tannin notes, a touch of bitter rots, the acid peaks out a bit on the finale 2+


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