Back Up The Truck - Nebbiolo Steal: 2006 Roagna Langhe Rosso

Posted by Joe Salamone

Back Up The Truck - Nebbiolo Steal
2006 Roagna Langhe Rosso
Lowest Price in the Nation

When it comes to Roagna Langhe Rosso, appearances deceive.

Dig a bit deeper than the humble Langhe Rosso label and you'll find fruit from some of Barolo's and Barbaresco's top vineyards.

It's the killer value and gorgeous expression of traditional Nebbiolo that the '06 Langhe Rosso offers that places it squarely in the "back up the truck" category.

It happens every year. The temperatures drop, the leaves change and we start craving Nebbiolo. When everything is factored in, Roagna's Langhe Rosso is the best option we've had to reach for in a really long time.

Like Bourgogne Rouge, Langhe Rosso is a general designation that covers wines that vary widely from cheap and cheerful to more serious. Roagna's Langhe Rosso is dead serious. For the category, it may very well be without peer. This is particularly true in the great 2006 vintage.

Roagna treats its Langhe Rosso with no half-measures. It's treated very much the way that a traditionally crafted Barbaresco or Barolo would be treated. It sees a long maceration (a month or more) followed by 3-4 years in oak casks and then a year in bottle.

In short, serious material deserves serious treatment. The fruit from Roagna's Langhe Rosso is sourced from Cascina Pira in Castiglione Falletto in Barolo and Pajé in Barbaresco, two top sites. Any vines in these sites under 20 years old go into the Langhe Rosso.

There's no doubt that the 2006 Langhe Rosso drinks like Barolo that costs twice as much or even more. It offers up much of the power, length and complex dark fruits, floral notes, game and spice that you'll find in top-notch Barolos.

2006 has shaped up to be a really impressive vintage in Piedmont. If it was a touch underrated at first, it was because the classic structure took some time to show its balance and depth of complexity. The vintage offers the whole package of typical Nebbiolo scents and flavors, freshness and structure backed by intensity.

We've been working with Roagna's wines since we opened and have watched the wines improve by leaps and bounds over the years. We agree with Antonio Galloni when he writes, "Quality has never been higher here, and as I have written before, Luca Roagna is one of Piedmont's most promising young producers."

If you're looking for traditionally crafted, affordably priced Nebbiolo that will age for the next 5-7 years and more, this is one of the smartest buys we've come across.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits