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Bruno Rocca Azienda Agricola Rabayà

Bruno Rocca Azienda Agricola Rabayà

The Bruno Rocca winery lies in the heart of Barbaresco country in the Langhe lies south of Turin. This is an area renowned for the quality of its grapes and in 1980 Barbaresco became one of the first wines to receive DOCG status.

The family has been here for many years (at least since 1834) and the estate has grown to where it now consists of 15 hectares with an annual production of around 65,000 bottles of wine. We were shown around by Luisa who works in the family business together with her brother, Francesco, and their father, Bruno. 

We started the tasting with a Barbaresco from 2017 which was fermented in stainless steel before maturing for 18 months in barrique of French oak. A dark garnet colour, with raspberries and balsamic vinegar on the nose, on the palate the tannins were soft but definitely present with good acidity and flavour of bitter cherry. Try it with a ragu or Italian sausages.

We then moved on to the cru wines that the family produces. The first two come from the Currà vineyard that they purchased in 2001. The 2016 was fermented in stainless steel before spending 12 months in barrique and a further 12 months in big botti, both made from French oak. The colour was ruby with hints of garnet. The bouquet was of old roses and clementines and in the mouth there were soft tannins with cherries and a hint of salinity. The second was the Currà Riserva from 2014. This was fermented in wood before being matured in French oak botti for around 30 months and had a deep ruby colour. On the nose there was blackberry with pepper, leather and aniseed. On the palate there were tannins, but not too dominant, with, for me, Bramley cooking apples.

From the Rabajà vineyard I sampled the 2014 Riserva. Again, fermented in oak and matured in French oak botti for around 30 months, this wine shares the same deep ruby colour. However, the differences in the terroir are reflected in the bouquet which has blackberry and violet and in the mouth where there are soft tannins with blackberry and cinnamon. 

Finally, Luisa let me try a very special wine that they only produce in the best years. It is named Maria Adelaide after Bruno’s mother and I sampled the 2013. Fermented in stainless steel it then spends 12 months in barrique followed by 18 months in botti. Dark ruby in colour with vanilla, liquorice and bitter chocolate on the nose, in the mouth there were soft tannins with a good acidity and flavours of cherry and a certain warmth.   

Leaving the winery, directly in front of you is the Rabajà vineyard. This is truly a business close to its roots and very much a family affair. Because of this, if you wish to visit Luisa has asked that you keep groups small, with a maximum of six guests, and book at least three weeks in advance. She would also appreciate it if you avoid the harvest period at the end of September and through October.

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