We very pleased to draw to your attention the first Barolo release of 2017, the 2013 Barolo, Rocche dell’ Annunziata from Renato Corino at £225 per 6 bottle case in bond.
This is likely to be the first of many wines from the 2013 vintage that we will be offering. Unlike other regions, there is no general release date to which all Barolo comply, so releases from different estates will be peppered across the calendar and we would urge you to keep your eyes out for these as 2013 is shaping up to be a hugely impressive vintage. Jancis Robinson suggests ‘The prognosis is for a vintage similar in quality to the already legendary 2010s.’ Simon's comments on the vintage, estate and wine are below.
A word on the 2013 vintage
2013 is, however, a different natured vintage to the last great Barolo vintage, the tauter, streamlined 2010. It is a vintage defined by lofty summer temperatures across July and August, with markedly cooler nights. It was this shift between day and night temperatures that has led to the distinctive style of the best of 2013. They possess terrific aromatics; the fruit is generous and yet ripe with nothing overblown. The front-runners exhibit a superb sense of balance as the cooler night temperatures helped retain crucial acidity. Another key facet of the 2013s is the quality of the tannins; seldom have I tasted such precise, fine-grained tannins in a recent Piemontese vintage. This is no doubt due to the fact that September remained sunny and dry in the run up to harvest and growers were able to wait slightly longer for full phenolic ripeness. In short, 2013 offers fresh aromatics; bright and attractive, with great volume and a sense of coolness and poise coupled to fine tannins. Not all estates enjoyed the same degree of success, but the best certainly shared these attributes revealing the class of great Nebbiolo.
Some background on Rocche dell’Annunziata
There are close to 200 official subzones within Barolo; a region which could possibly rival Burgundy for sheer complexity. Unofficially, there is also a hierarchy, with famous vineyards like Rocche dell’Annunziata right at the top alongside Monprivato, Brunate and Cannubi Boschis. Such vineyards are akin to the ‘Grand Crus’ of Burgundy and incredibly, this site was first highly rated as far back as the twelfth century. Rocche dell’Annunziata is within the commune of La Morra, lying on a south-west facing slope below the picturesque hilltop town itself. It lies at 300 metres over sea level and comprises south, south-east and south-west facing slopes. I seldom highlight the soil composition of vineyards in my write-ups, but in this case it is worth mentioning that this vineyard is based on calcareous clay, almost chalky white on the higher parts of the slope, with a high proportion of silt. This soil composition is said to lead to the striking perfume and silky textural character common to all examples of Rocche dell’Annunziata.
The skill of Renato Corino
Renato left the family estate under his father’s name, Giovanni Corino, to establish his own estate in 2003. He retained his share of the estates vineyards in the crus of Rocche dell’Annuziata and Arborina following the division of his father’s estate. I first visited Renato back in the early 2000s on the recommendation of an Italian friend and sommelier. Consequently, his wines became a regular feature in Barolo offers and I believe this is eight vintage that I have ever offered. To me, his Barolo typify the qualities I associate with La Morra; the certain silkiness on the palate, the softness of texture creating a sense of accessibility that is not common to many Barolo districts. His generic Barolo is often one of the great values of the region and the ‘Rocche’ delivers what you would expect from one of the highest regarded vineyards of not just La Morra, but the region. Please see my note on the 2013 below.
2013 Barolo, Rocche dell’Annunziata, Renato Corino
£225 per 6 bottle case in bond
True to form the ‘Rocche’ reveals striking, lifted aromatics as soon as you raise the glass, with layers of sweet, perfumed dark fruits. The texture of the fruit on the palate impresses greatly, silky-textured, with an abundant dark berry fruit, notes of mint, with hints of spice and notes of creamy cocoa and discreet vanillin. What fascinates here is the effortless nature of the fruit; nothing is forced or heady, yet there is a notable ampleness to this vintage. In 2013 it is as if the richness of the fruit has been magnified with no loss of poise. The Nebbiolo tannins are finely expressed and surprisingly unobtrusive at this early stage. The overriding impression is of a harmonious Barolo of impressive stature. This will be a treat in time. Drink 2021-2035. (SL)
Please let us know of your interest and do please keep your eye out for subsequent Barolo releases.
NB: There will no doubt be a volley of 2014 Tuscan offers from multiple merchants as these are just being released, but my advice is to proceed with caution as the 2014 vintage in Tuscany was a very tricky year that largely made light, early maturing wines. My advice would be to keep your powder dry and to focus on key 2013s from Barolo and Barbaresco, specific Brunello di Montalcino in 2012 and some of the later released of the 2013 vintage in Tuscany.
All the best,
To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0)20 3017 2299, firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis.