Roagna 2014: He
Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil - it's all about the picking date
By far the most important tactical decision a winegrower has to make is when to pick those grapes. There can be an element of luck but mostly it's experience, wisdom and holding one's nerve. Between them Luca Roagna and his dad played a blinder with the challenging hand the 2014 growing season dealt, and scooped the jackpot. They waited until after the harvest rains and their wines are fully ripe, though low yielding; intense and charming; complex and structured. But then that's the signature of Luca. He may be a musical metalhead (he's even made a unique bottling for Sigurd 'Satyr' Wongraven of heavy metal band Satyricon) but his wines are classical and trad.
The portfolio of Luca's wines has grown a little with a couple of small, newly rented but very familiar vineyards in Barbaresco as well as the best portion of his girfriend's holdings in the centre of Barolo village - less than a fifth of a hectare! But the focus and energy in the farming and winemaking have not been diluted. Far from it, it seems that Luca is even more energised by these new additions and they are as fine and brilliant as the familiar bottlings. And that growing season wasn't all negative. Some of the challenges reduced the crop naturally and that helped with the successful ripening of the fruit. But you must still be a master of your vineyards to make that happen and Luca's skill is long proven.
The wines are everything you'd hope for from Roagna: fully perfumed with plenty of floral notes backed up with red fruit flavours and hints of cedar and vetiver. They may be delicate and elegant but they have plenty of stuffing. And the long maceration, low intervention winemaking again provides the finest tannins balanced with acidity and a mineral freshness. These wines - especially the Barbareschi - are remarkably drinkable now, but all of them will age very nicely. /CW
Offered subject to remaining unsold; for shipment Autumn 2019