Tucked away in the little known Barbaresco
village of San Rocco Seno d'Elvio, just outside Alba, is the single plot of 4 hectares (of Nebbiolo
& Dolcetto) that belongs to Manuel Marinacci
Manuel's a young wine producer
whose biggest claim to fame to date is as a class-mate of Giuseppe Mascarello
at Alba's viticultural school Umberto 1, which he left in the mid 1990s. Upon graduation Manuel worked abroad & locally for both large and small cantine/wineries before taking on the lease of the San Rocco Seno d'Elvio vineyard in 2002. Vintage 2004 was his first release. Manuel makes three wines: Dolcetto d'Alba
, Barbera d'Alba and Barbaresco.
Refreshingly Manuel immediately adopted the traditional approach to winemaking
; Giuseppe's influence perhaps rubbing off on him! His Nebbiolo for Barbaresco is vinified in cement without temperature control using selected yeast. As he explains: 'as a two-man operation I need the comfort of knowing that the ferments will happen when I'm away from the cantina'.
The Barbaresco is then aged in large slavonian botte for two years. Importantly he only vinifies that that is going into bottle with his name on it (rather than making wine out of all the crop and selling off any surplus as bulk wine); the rest is sold as fruit. So currently production of Barbaresco is at a third of capacity, circa 500 cases per annum. The style of Manuel's
wines are grounded in tradition yet clean, bright and eminently drinkable.