Piedmont in Autumn: 96 Rocche Manzoni

Posted by Ian McFadden

Piedmont in Autumn
1996 Rocche dei Manzoni
Langhe Bricco Manzoni

"Rocche dei Manzoni remains less well known than it deserves to be" -Antonio Galloni

The nights have been darn right chilly here in NYC; heading to the subway in the morning, the wind is biting and crisp, whipping brown-golden leaves all around.

Fall is here, and with the root vegetables and early nightfall, thoughts inevitably turn to red wines - to bottles that dance with the fall harvest.

Today, the good news is we have the perfect fall bottle - the bad news is we only have a few cases.

To return to Mr. Galloni's quote above, it could be that because Rocche Manzoni cruises under-the-radar that we're able to offer their 1996 Langhe Bricco Manzoni at $49.95.

These are perfectly stored bottles, the only ones in the country. The value here is really impressive.

Rocche Manzoni's 1996 Langhe Bricco Manzoni is drinking near peak right now and offers a range of flavors perfectly suited to autumn. It offers spice and crushed leaves along with a dusting of dark cherry fruit and flowers. The tannins have softened, but still leave their mark on the finish, and there's a bright current of acid.

Bricco Manzoni is a Langhe Rosso, a blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera. Langhe is the broad DOC for the Piedmont area, including territory in Barolo and Barbaresco. The important thing in this context is that its restrictions are looser, which allows more experimentation.

Bricco Manzoni was first released in 1976 and was the first of a group of wines labeled "Super-Piemonte." The idea was to use Barbera and barrel aging to take some of the hard edges off of Nebbiolo. The result is a polished wine that manages to walk a fine line of displaying plenty of power while maintaining a sense of delicacy and elegance.

The 1996 vintage in Piedmont produced impressively muscular and structured wines. They are monumental wines jam-packed with complexity and with the finely calibrated balance that marks great vintages. In 96, the Nebbiolo grape was rendered with a clarity, typicity and power that's stunning.

1996, along with simply being a great Piedmont vintage, is a particularly good vintage for Bricco Manzoni. The power and structure of the vintage really complements the sleek style of Rocche Manzoni.

As we mentioned earlier, this is a perfect wine for autumn. It's perfect for the chilly weather ahead. This is the sort of wine to break out for a simply prepared steak or go all out and make some brasato al Barolo (beef braised in Barolo).

To repeat, this is a very small parcel. We're only sending to a small group, but allocations will likely have to be made.

Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits