A captivating and seductive nose from Barolo with long elegance

Roberto Voerzio heads the estate, but it is really a joined effort by him and his son Davide. As is the case with e.g. Sandrone, Roberto Voerzio too is often considered a modernist and yes, they use barriques, but since the 2008 vintage they use no new oak, only 2nd or 3rd passage. In fact, the malo is carried out in steel and they have cut down on wood contact even more by raising their barolos in 50% barriques and 50% neutral, bigger 20hl barrels from France and Slavonia. Actually, this was something they already did back in 1988 until 1995. From the 1996 until the 2007 vintages, only barriques were employed with max 30% new oak for one year only. And not very surprisingly, we really like this change to back to a more transparent approach.

Vinification is the kind we really like, the simple kind with as little intervention as possible. Maceration is carried out for 15 days which certainly cannot be considered modern and SO2 levels are kept super low.

The estate is considered among the absolute best in Barolo and the secret is, except for a very hands-off vinification and careful use of oak, meticulous and very hard work in the vineyards without any pesticides or weed-killers and the use of organic fertilization. Roberto is a perfectionist and fanatic when it comes to low yields that are probably the lowest in Barolo. They prune ruthlessly hard in winter, cut and leaves 6-8 buds in Spring, do green harvests in the Summer including thinning out twice, cutting off the lower grapes in each bunch in August and leave only five bunches per plant before harvest, about 500 g per plant. Notice, that this is less than a bottle per plant. It is a clear and steadfast focus on producing wines with elegance of highest possible quality with high concentration and ripe fruit that transparently expresses its site with honesty and pride. Yes, this is certainly modernism in Barolo, but in a very good way, and it is extreme as they take the Burgundish wit of low yields even further.

Cerrequio is a very interesting vineyard located in the township of La Morra, Barolo. It is clearly one of unofficial three grand crus in La Morra, the other two being Rocche dell’Annuniziata and Brunate. Upwards it borders La Serra, below is the Sarmassa and next to it is the Brunate. It is not as dark, masculine and structured as the Brunate, but it certainly is equally rich and complex. In addition, it is more approachable and comes with exceptionally soft, but solid tannins. The soil contains the typical Sant’Agata fossil marl and calcareous clay of this part of Barolo, but with less sand than the Brunate. It is poor in organic elements, but rich in Magnesium and Manganese which is indicated by its somewhat blue colour. The vineyard, especially the left side, has a perfect microclimate and exposition as well as being protected from winds and it stores water well due to more clay, so plants are not too stressed in hot vintages. Roberto Voerzio has three parcels in the upper part of this vineyard; two with south-east- and one with south exposition. All planted in 1988, so vines are relatively young.

2006 is a great, well structured and very classic vintage, so now let’s taste the wine shall we..

2006 Barolo Cerequio, Roberto Voerzio

The colour is garnet red with orange edges and it actually looks older than it is. 🙂
After about three hours, the nose is very captivating and seductive with violets, dried cut flowers, gravel, mint and somewhat burnt lime minerals. In addition, there is a stylish and lovely inner perfume as well as a secondary fresh breeze with tiny saline notes that emerges in this gorgeous nose.
The palate offers layers of very pure, fresh and ripe fruit. Moreover, this is a very aromatic wine and we notice anise seed, clove, gravel, warm herbs, spices, tar and pastry.
The acidity is very fresh and energetic and wraps balsamic oils and pleasant bitterly dry grape-peel. It is powerful, but as the expression goes more of “an iron-fist in a velvet glove” and here perhaps we think the glove is even a big, thick and soft one. Hence, the texture is velvety, almost silky, without any corners or edges and tannins are ripe, chewy and already quite soft, but now still a little heavy. Body is voluptuous, concentration is great and it is generously rich in complex aromasHere we enjoy a remarkably consistent envelope that leads to and very long and pure finish. No oak is noted from the one-year in 30% new wood as part of the aging process done for this vintage.

The bouquet is very captivating and enchanting that you just want to sit and explore it for a while. It is a racy, ample and super-round wine with exceptionally long and pure finish. Truly a great effort from Roberto and Davide Voerzio and we look forward to tasting the 2010s when they arrive. Open in 2017, but probably peaks in another ten years and is alive for a few decades. Yes, its price-tag is high, but equally so is its quality.


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