Red, Ready, but will keep

2008 Barolo, La Serra, Podreri Marcarini, Piedmont

2008 Barolo, La Serra, Podreri Marcarini, Piedmont

Red | Ready, but will keep | Marcarini, Piedmont | Code:  13950 | 2008 | Italy > Piedmont > Barolo | Nebbiolo | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

93/100

WA - The 2008 Barolo La Serra comes across as soft, fragrant and feminine. Sweet red berries, mint, rosemary and licorice develop in the glass, adding further complexity and nuance. The La Serra is deceptively medium in body, yet it boasts fabulous length. The finish turns just a bit fleeting, but not enough to detract from the wine’s terrific overall balance. The La Serra will appeal most to readers who enjoy the delicate, feminine side of Barolo. It is a striking Barolo from Marcarini.

Proprietor Manuel Marchetti brought in his fruit in mid-October. The Baroli were fermented in cement and steel, and were then aged in oak casks for two years. Marcarini remains one of the best values in traditionally made, cellar-worthy Barolo. Both of these wines are fabulous.
Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, Apr 2012

The Producer

Marcarini, Piedmont

Marcarini, Piedmont

Poderi Marcarini can trace its roots back to in the mid-1800s, when Giuseppe Tarditi established his winery in La Morra, in the heart of the village. Today, since 1990, it is owned and managed by Manuel Marchetti, widower to Giuseppe's great, great, granddaughter, the late Luisa Bava.

Along with their children Francesca, Lisa and Andrea, Manuel oversees the 15ha estate that includes significant holdings in the La Morra vineyards of Berri, La Serra and Brunate. They have some vines in Neviglie, notably Moscato. More recently Luisa oversaw the purchase of 2ha of Arneis vineyards from 7 proprietors in the village of Montaldo in the Roero.

The Grape

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.

A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.

Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.

Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.

The Region

Barolo

Located due south of Alba and the River Tanaro, Barolo is Piedmont's most famous wine DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), renowned for producing Italy's  finest red wines from 100 percent Nebbiolo

Its red wines were originally sweet, but in 1840 the then extant Italian monarchy, the House of Savoy, ordered them to be altered to a dry style. This project was realised by French oenologist Louis Oudart, whose experience with Pinot Noir had convinced him of Nebbiolo's potential. The Barolo appellation was formalised in 1966 at around 1,700 hectares – only a tenth of the size of Burgundy, but almost three times as big as neighbouring Barbaresco.

Upgraded to DOCG status in 1980, Barolo comprises two distinct soil types: the first is a Tortonian sandy marl that produces a more feminine style of wine and can be found in the villages of Barolo, La Morra, Cherasco, Verduno, Novello, Roddi and parts of Castiglione Falletto. The second is the older Helvetian sandstone clay that bestows the wines with a more muscular style. This can be found in Monforte d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour and the other parts of Castiglione Falletto. Made today from the Nebbiolo clones Lampia, Michet and Rosé, Barolo has an exceptional terroir with almost every village perched on its own hill. The climate is continental, with an extended summer and autumn enabling the fickle Nebbiolo to achieve perfect ripeness.

Inspired by the success of modernists such as Elio Altare, there has been pressure in recent years to reduce the ageing requirements for Barolo; this has mostly been driven by new producers to the region, often with no Piedmontese viticultural heritage and armed with their roto-fermenters and barriques, intent on making a fruitier, more modern style of wine.

This modern style arguably appeals more to the important American market and its scribes, but the traditionalists continue to argue in favour of making Barolo in the classic way. They make the wine in a mix of epoxy-lined cement or stainless-steel cuves, followed by extended ageing in 25-hectoliter Slavonian botte (barrels) to gently soften and integrate the tannins. However, even amongst the traditionalists there has been a move, since the mid-1990s, towards using physiologically (rather than polyphenolically) riper fruit, aided by global warming. Both modernist and traditional schools can produce exceptional or disappointing wines.

Recommended traditionalist producers:
Giacomo Borgogno, Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Elio Grasso, Marcarini, Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Mascarello.

Recommended nmdernist producers:
Azelia, Aldo Conterno, Luciano Sandrone, Paolo Scavino and Roberto Voerzio

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