Rocche dell’Annunziata is a 1.5-hectare vineyard facing South-West at 400 metres above sea level. It has a higher level of sand compared to the other Crus of Renato Ratti and is the oldest Barolo vines on the estate. Rocche dell’Annunziata is the flagship Cru of Renato Ratti, but also one of the great sites of La Morra.
2015 Ratti Rocche dell’Annunziata is pretty true to style. Intense, lifted and impressive. Cola, nut, oak, resin, mineral, grassy, ink, iodine, stony. Rocche dell’Annunziata is very much of the earth. On the palate, it is surprisingly elegant and refined with tart acid and hung meats. The structure is there, and it sets this wine up for a long and rewarding future in a good cellar. Leave Rocche dell’Annunziata 2015 it until after 2027 for best results. But it’ll drink from now with a good time in a decanter. Match it with something gamey now or mushroom when mature.
Renato Ratti Rocche dell’Annunziata Barolo DOCG 2015 Wine Notes
Monca Larner – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
“Pietro Ratti’s 2015 Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata is the most structured and firmly textured of the Barolos presented in this tasting of new releases. This wine is tight and compact at its core, but it needs a little prodding and swirling of the glass before it hints at the grandeur and the layering of fruit nuances embedded in its very DNA. Just give it time, this wine requires a little extra patience before it fully blossoms. All those beautiful Nebbiolo complexities are hidden just below the surface and will emerge with more bottle aging. Only 5,000 bottles were made. Drink 2022-2040.”
“A chewy and polished red with berry and tile character and hints of plums. Medium-to full-bodied. Chewy tannins that are polished and firm. Very pretty. One of the best ever. Better after 2021.”
Renato Ratti revolutionised Barolo, and we all can appreciate his contribution. Renato Ratti has passed away, but his winemaker and family carried on his legacy. The estate style is that of intensity and power. They pack in some alcohol and balance it with new French barriques. These are wines that don’t necessarily look their best young, but with age, the good old tar n roses come back.
Piedmont is one of the most significant wine regions in the world. Its name means the ‘foot of the mountain’. Piedmont is in the North-Western reach of Italy. There are a lot of parallels drawn between the best wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco) and the wines of Burgundy. The region neighbours France and Switzerland with its border defined by the Alps to the North and west and Apennines to the South. These natural defences kept the Ligurians safe from Roman invasions. Luckily it didn’t work forever, as we may not have the wines that we cherish today.
Made from 100% Nebbiolo aged for least 3 years (5 for Riserva). Famous villages include La Morra, Verduno, Castiglione, Montforte, Serralunga and Barolo. Awarded DOCG in 1980.
They are famously producing long-lived red wines. Light of colour, but abundant in tannin. Barolo and Barbaresco are the pinnacles of Nebbiolo. But many local and international regions are catching up. Typical flavours include tar, roses, anise, cherry, blackberry and truffle.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that, volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.