The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Rocche dei Manzoni and…Rocche dei Manzoni!

Posted on | December 7, 2015 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

Crystal 2014Rocche dei Manzoni makes stunning, traditionally styled Barolo year after year. The wines offer impressive complexity and character—not to mention outstanding value! Situated in the Manzoni Soprani area of Monforte d’Alba, Rocche dei Manzoni was originally established in the 1700s, but its modern history began when Valentino and Jolanda Migliorini purchased the winery and its prized vineyards in the 1970s. Valentino had fallen in love with Piemonte when visiting the region to acquire a selection of reds to serve at his Michelin-starred restaurant in Emilia-Romagna, and the fashionable Francophile returned to Barolo with the winemaking skills he had acquired from his father.

Today I am highlighting two vintages of Rocche dei Manzoni’s impressive Barolo Vigna Cappella Santo Stefano. This bottling comes from the historic vineyard Cappella Santo Stefano di Perno, and it represents very best single cru of the estate’s single-vineyard Barolos. As with Rocche dei Manzoni’s other crus, Big ‘d Big and Vigna ‘d La Roul, Santo Stefano is also aged in oak for a three-year period and receives an additional year of maturation in bottle prior to release. I am a fan of all; however, I feel that the Santo Stefano is the pinnacle of the estate’s craft, possessing all the characteristics that every Barolo drinker wants: aromatics of dark fruit and violets, and structure, depth and finesse on the palate.

It is not easy to find killer Barolo from top vintages at these prices, so it’s easy to see why we get so excited about them!

Rocche dei Manzoni 2006 Barolo Cappella Santo Stefano $89.99

2006 represents power in Barolo. Wines from this vintage have much to show, but need they time to soften in the cellar. Given almost a decade of age, this Santo Stefano has shed a few layers, and it’s starting to show its true colors. Overflowing with aromas and flavors of wild berries, this bottling offers impressive richness with hints of toast and anise. Drink now or hold for another 10-15 years.

Rocche dei Manzoni 2010 Barolo Capella Santo Stefano 1.5L $225

A vintage that needs little introduction, the 2010s have knocked the socks off of collectors, critics and wine geeks like me. This wine offers perfect balance and harmony. There are loads of rich dark berry fruit intertwined with aromas and flavors of tobacco, leather and clove. Seriously powerful and fresh, the wine is approachable now but it’ll greatly benefit from another 5, 10 or 15 years in bottle. As a huge fan of large formats, I believe this is a must-have wine for any serious Barolo collector.

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