Albino Rocca

Love Me Do: The Gorgeous 2020 Barbarescos & Friends
Albino Rocca
It was wonderful to welcome Daniela Rocca to Australia recently, and she could have hardly hoped for a more outstanding set of wines to show around. “2020 was part of a fantastic trilogy in Barbaresco,” she enthused, presenting as irrefutable evidence her six-strong suite from that year, each showing succulence and transparent juiciness, balanced by elegant and silky tannins and lingering freshness.

“The 2020 summer was slightly warmer [than 2019], but in September, temperatures dropped, and we still picked Nebbiolo in October—a classic, normal time,” Daniela told us. “The wines have fruitiness and approachability but still with the capacity and structure to age very well. Consumers will love it for these reasons.” While the sheer expressive qualities and Pinot-like purity of the wines are impossible not to love, they also possess the balance and shape that will appeal to the Piemonte cognoscenti. The cellaring potential is undeniable, even if the wines are ready to enjoy in the short term.

Albino Rocca is in a great place. In the cellar, Daniela’s sister, Paola, and her partner, long-term cellar master Carlo Castellano, continue to till new ground. “They have instilled so much energy and experimentation over the last few vintages, and you can see the difference in our wines,” said Daniela. “The expression, elegance and purity in the wines have been heightened.” The Rocca family’s work in their vineyards has long been a beacon of quality, and even here, practice is evolving to stay ahead of the rapidly changing climate. On this evidence, they are doing an outstanding job.

On a final note, the entire Rocca portfolio is laced with quality. This year’s undercard is a beauty, too. The everyday wines from 2022 offer such pleasure and terrific value. Each one is singing and confirms that you don’t always have to pay top dollar for outstanding quality and authentic terroir expression. Viva Barbaresco!

The Wines

Albino Rocca Cortese 2021
Added

Albino Rocca Cortese 2021

Overlook Rocca’s whites at your peril! As far as we know, this unique wine is the only Cortese grown within the boundaries of Barbaresco, so perhaps the fact that the Roccas grow it should be clue enough that we’re onto something special. The one-hectare plot of 40-year-old vines is rooted in Montegrosso d’Asti (in Barbaresco, just south of Asti) on clay and limestone soils. The wine was aged in a mix of stainless steel and mature French oak (just six months in barrel).

Angelo Rocca was a great fan of Burgundy and went as far as planting Chardonnay vines in the family’s home village of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio. Yet it’s the estate’s Cortese that stands out for us. Rocca always believed in crafting a structured, food-friendly Cortese from low yields, and his family have taken the wine to another level, weaving in complex mineral-savoury hints, great texture and layers of citrus-pith and spice-flecked fruit. From an outstanding Piemonte vintage, you can expect layers of fresh orchard, ripe white peach and orange oil notes, underpinned by chalky freshness and some phenolic chewiness on the finish.

Albino Rocca Cortese 2021
Added
Albino Rocca Dolcetto d'Alba 2022
Added

Albino Rocca Dolcetto d'Alba 2022

Albino Rocca’s Dolcetto d’Alba is drawn from a single vineyard in Barbaresco, a first-rate location with an east-to-southeast exposure for the most part. The vines were planted in 1960 and 1978. Thanks to their maturity and sensible yields, this wine displays more intensity and texture than many a garden-variety Dolcetto d’Alba. The 2022 was raised in stainless steel for six months.

What a cracking Dolcetto. It's a riot of zest and energy, opening with a lovely interplay of summer berries, violets and spice before intensifying on the palate with a plush texture, deftly partnered with perfumed, juicy tannins and mouth-watering freshness.

“The 2022 Dolcetto d'Alba is fresh, fruity and very easy to like. A burst of sweet red berry fruit and lifted floral notes convey unexpected freshness. This mid-weight, vibrant Dolcetto is beautifully done.”
88 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Albino Rocca Dolcetto d'Alba 2022
Added
Albino Rocca Barbera d'Alba 2022
Added

Albino Rocca Barbera d'Alba 2022

The lion’s share of this small-volume cuvée is drawn from a single parcel of vines planted in 2004 in the clay and limestone soils of San Rocco Seno d'Elvio—just outside the Alba township, on the edge of the Barbaresco area. More recently, a parcel of 20-year-old Barbara from Castagnito on the opposite side of the Tanaro River has joined the party. The resulting wine, raised entirely in tank, is bursting with mouth-watering red and blue fruit flavours framed by tightly wound tannins and lip-smacking acidity.

“The 2022 Barbera d'Alba is another delicious entry-level wine from Albino Rocca. It captures notable freshness and energy. Dark red cherry/plum fruit, spice, leather and blood orange and all dialed up. Vinification and aging in steel keeps the flavors vibrant.”
90 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Albino Rocca Barbera d'Alba 2022
Added
Albino Rocca Nebbiolo d'Alba 2022
Added

Albino Rocca Nebbiolo d'Alba 2022

Like most Rocca wines, the Nebbiolo d’Alba is from a single site—a parcel between Barolo and Barbaresco in the westernmost section of the Seno d'Elvio subzone. Aptly (and nowt to do with Tolkien), this area is known locally as Terra di Mezzo (middle earth). The Nebbiolo vines vary in age from 15 to 60 years, and the Roccas mature this wine for 12 months in large Austrian and German oak casks. Rocca’s Nebbiolo d’Alba perennially offer outstanding depth and interest for the money. This ‘baby Barbaresco’ also gives us a preview of what to expect from the Barbaresco to be released next year (a very significant one in this case!) while acting as the perfect, early-drinking understudy.

Albino Rocca Nebbiolo d'Alba 2022
Added
Albino Rocca Barbera d’Alba Superiore Gepin 2021
Added

Albino Rocca Barbera d’Alba Superiore Gepin 2021

The name of this wine comes from the previous owner, Gepin, who tended these parcels of Barbera in the great Crus of Ronchi (Barbaresco) and Cottà (Neive). These old vines were planted between 1950 and 1974, and the wine is raised in large Austrian casks and bottled unfiltered.

This is a very smart wine: ripe, pure and pulpy, with intensity and length seldom found in regular Barbera d’Alba DOC (where the best sites are often reserved for Nebbiolo). It’s textural and rich in fruit, with a finish that’s as fresh as a daisy. A perfectly balanced, medium-bodied red and a benchmark example of Barbera.

“The 2021 Barbera d'Alba Superiore Gepin offers a compelling mix of dark cherry/plum fruit, along with hints of mocha, spice and leather that add complexity. Bright acids pull it all together nicely. The 2021 spent a year in cask. It's a gorgeous wine and also a fine example of the house style at Albino Rocca today.”
91 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“Spices, dark cherry, distinctly mineral character. Medium-bodied, but fleshy and stony, tannin is lovely and there is length and dark flavour pulsing through it, though it does have some juiciness, freshness and charm to boot. Very stylish. Excellent.”
94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Albino Rocca Barbera d’Alba Superiore Gepin 2021
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco 2020

In addition to its classic source—a parcel of old vines in Meruzzano—Rocca’s Barbaresco now takes in a selection of young-vine fruit from two Barbaresco Cru parcels: Ronchi and Cottà. These sources, along with the winemaking—three weeks on skins and maturation exclusively in large Stockinger botti for 24 months—mean we can expect a pretty serious wine at this level.

It’s a terrific introduction to the year. From the off, you can sense the presence of the fleshy power and precision that characterised Rocca’s 2019 Barbarescos. The nose already shows great aromatic charm with red fruit purity, flecked by floral prettiness and lifted spice. The palate is vibrant and fleshy, more ‘filled out’ than 2019, and crammed with graceful flow cosseted by fine, mouthcoating tannins and wonderful freshness. It finishes on a Campari note with great length. It all adds up to an excellent vintage for this cuvée.

“The 2020 Barbaresco is lovely. A wine of charm, the 2020 shows how appealing the vintage is. Crushed flowers, mint, spice, blood orange and mint are all nicely delineated. This mid-weight, vibrant Barbaresco is impeccable. It's a gorgeous entry-level offering from Albino Rocca.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Albino Rocca Barbaresco 2020
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Montersino 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Montersino 2020

The Montersino Cru is located at the southern tip of Barbaresco, close to Treiso, at 320 metres above sea level. The Rocca’s 0.42-hectare parcel is within the highest and coolest area of Barbaresco and is one of the region’s most elevated plots. The south-facing vines were planted in 1998 by Angelo Rocca and are rooted on very poor clay and limestone slopes with thin layers of sandstone. The sandstone brings finesse, as does the altitude. Daniela Rocca has pointed out that this soil type (locally called Formazione di Lequio) resembles Barolo’s Monforte and some of the chalky soils found in Serralunga.

Each year, these soils produce a beautiful wine that’s perfect for Burgundy (and Barbaresco!) lovers. Packed with perfume and vibrancy, there’s immediately more savoury complexity on offer. The palate is beautifully poised with velveteen fruit, skilfully interlaced with attractive mineral and floral flavour and the structure is brought by chalky tannins and elevated acidity. The first release from this Cru was back in 2012, and it’s hard to recall if Rocca has bottled a more exciting young wine than that from 2020.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Montersino is intensely floral and savory, reflecting a slightly higher position on the slope in a cool site. Dried herbs, tobacco, cedar, spice and earthy tones lend character. There is plenty of complexity and nuance here, and certainly more than enough depth to balance the tannins. This is a fine vintage for the Montersino.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“Attractive aromas of red berries like raspberries and strawberries with hints of dried herbs, walnuts and bark. Medium-bodied, juicy and bright with fine, velvety tannins that are firm and grippy. Lingering finish. Very fine.”
94 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“Strawberry and raspberry, floral, some mint, herbal almost red capsicum notes, pepper and spice. Medium-bodied, almost coming across like a lightly bunchy Pinot Noir, to explain the style further. Dry, spiced strawberry and raspberry, dusty and peppery, a little bit ferrous, and with a firm stony finish of excellent length. Such a distinct vineyard character here, and I like it so much for its point of difference.”
94+ points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Montersino 2020
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020

This celebrated, limestone-rich Barbaresco Cru runs along the southern belt of the appellation, near the town itself. The Rocca cellars are located just above this southeast-facing vineyard—one of the reasons the site has become synonymous with the name Albino Rocca. Ronchi is also the oldest and largest holding of the estate, extending to almost six hectares (three of Nebbiolo)—roughly a third of the total area of the Cru. With Rocca’s Nebbiolo vines here now aged between 50 and 70 years, this vineyard offers an ideal combination of vine age, deep clay and limestone soils and southeast exposure. It’s no surprise that it consistently produces some of Barbaresco’s greatest wines, wildly aromatic and rich in complexity and structure.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Ronchi stands out in this range for its breadth and textural resonance. There's gorgeous palate presence. Sweet red plum, blood orange, spice, new leather and incense fill out the layers. It’s a compelling wine in every way, and one that handles its alcohol quite well.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“This is red-fruited and floral with citrus peel, rose petals and some undergrowth notes. Medium-bodied, polished and delicate with fine tannins and fresh cherry-fruit in the middle. Very attractive.”
93 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“The style is fairly reductive, with a menthol character, dark cherry fruit and minerals on the savoury nose. Full of sucrosity on the palate, with crunchy tannins of good ripeness, refreshing, lively, brilliant acidity and an amazing liquorice aftertaste with a zip of sternness which is welcome at this stage. From a vineyard with southeast exposure planted between 1950 and 1980, this ages for at least 20 months in German and Austrian oak casks.”
93 points, Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (1500ml)
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (1500ml)

This celebrated, limestone-rich Barbaresco Cru runs along the southern belt of the appellation, near the town itself. The Rocca cellars are located just above this southeast-facing vineyard—one of the reasons the site has become synonymous with the name Albino Rocca. Ronchi is also the oldest and largest holding of the estate, extending to almost six hectares (three of Nebbiolo)—roughly a third of the total area of the Cru. With Rocca’s Nebbiolo vines here now aged between 50 and 70 years, this vineyard offers an ideal combination of vine age, deep clay and limestone soils and southeast exposure. It’s no surprise that it consistently produces some of Barbaresco’s greatest wines, wildly aromatic and rich in complexity and structure.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Ronchi stands out in this range for its breadth and textural resonance. There's gorgeous palate presence. Sweet red plum, blood orange, spice, new leather and incense fill out the layers. It’s a compelling wine in every way, and one that handles its alcohol quite well.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“This is red-fruited and floral with citrus peel, rose petals and some undergrowth notes. Medium-bodied, polished and delicate with fine tannins and fresh cherry-fruit in the middle. Very attractive.”
93 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“The style is fairly reductive, with a menthol character, dark cherry fruit and minerals on the savoury nose. Full of sucrosity on the palate, with crunchy tannins of good ripeness, refreshing, lively, brilliant acidity and an amazing liquorice aftertaste with a zip of sternness which is welcome at this stage. From a vineyard with southeast exposure planted between 1950 and 1980, this ages for at least 20 months in German and Austrian oak casks.”
93 points, Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (1500ml)
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (3000ml)
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (3000ml)

This celebrated, limestone-rich Barbaresco Cru runs along the southern belt of the appellation, near the town itself. The Rocca cellars are located just above this southeast-facing vineyard—one of the reasons the site has become synonymous with the name Albino Rocca. Ronchi is also the oldest and largest holding of the estate, extending to almost six hectares (three of Nebbiolo)—roughly a third of the total area of the Cru. With Rocca’s Nebbiolo vines here now aged between 50 and 70 years, this vineyard offers an ideal combination of vine age, deep clay and limestone soils and southeast exposure. It’s no surprise that it consistently produces some of Barbaresco’s greatest wines, wildly aromatic and rich in complexity and structure.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Ronchi stands out in this range for its breadth and textural resonance. There's gorgeous palate presence. Sweet red plum, blood orange, spice, new leather and incense fill out the layers. It’s a compelling wine in every way, and one that handles its alcohol quite well.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“This is red-fruited and floral with citrus peel, rose petals and some undergrowth notes. Medium-bodied, polished and delicate with fine tannins and fresh cherry-fruit in the middle. Very attractive.”
93 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“The style is fairly reductive, with a menthol character, dark cherry fruit and minerals on the savoury nose. Full of sucrosity on the palate, with crunchy tannins of good ripeness, refreshing, lively, brilliant acidity and an amazing liquorice aftertaste with a zip of sternness which is welcome at this stage. From a vineyard with southeast exposure planted between 1950 and 1980, this ages for at least 20 months in German and Austrian oak casks.”
93 points, Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2020 (3000ml)
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Cottà 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Cottà 2020

This is the fourth release of Rocca’s Barbaresco Cottà, one of the great Crus of Neive. Cottà was one of the first sites in Barbaresco to be produced as a single vineyard. The Roccas work with a micro-parcel of 50-year-old vines in the middle of the southwest-facing slope, adjacent to their Gepin (Barbera) parcel and directly facing the Ronchi vineyard. It is a tiny holding, producing no more than 2,000 bottles annually. The sand-rich clay/marl soils and warmer microclimate produce generous yet fine wines that marry beautifully with Rocca’s elegant interpretation of Nebbiolo.

Young as it is, there’s already a cracking fusion of sweet cherry, hoisin and tea leaf flavours backed by textural prowess and impressive tension. The profile is prettier than Ronchi, with market-fresh red berries interwoven with integrated, fine-boned tannins and puckering acidity. Perhaps the laciest and most approachable of the Crus this year, it is an absolute standout.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Cottá is a powerful, dense wine that shows the natural richness of this site, but tempered by the restrained style that runs through all these wines. Succulent red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice. There's gorgeous depth here.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“Notes of ripe cherries, ground spices and bark with hints of chocolate and dried leaves. Medium-bodied, polished and refined with a rather supple tannin structure yet with a firm, lingering finish. Try in a year or two.”
93 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
“This vineyard is where the Tortonian imprint from the land gives complex and long lived wines,' says Albino Rocca. The presence of high amounts of limestone in the soil seems clear in the very fresh pomegranate fruit, sweet violet, yet tense, very classic, pure redcurrant fruit alongside whiffs of cinnamon. The attack is full of sucrosity and savouriness, relaxing, elegant acidity, lifted and high with velvety if not silky tannins. Warming but balanced. Great tension of fruit and a great wine.”
96 points, Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Cottà 2020
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2020

Barbaresco’s Ovello Cru spans a ridge with both slopes of the crest planted to vines. Within this large Cru are several delimited parcels (historical plots, if you like). Rocca’s Vigna Loreto is one of them, a tiny plot that is effectively a monopole. Vines here are around 45 years old, and the fruit was first vinified as a separate bottling in 1990. Sitting on the sunnier, southwestern side of the ridge, these vines directly face the moderating influence of the Tanaro River, so the nights are much cooler than on the other side of the Cru. The clay and limestone soils are also sandier and lighter than in the rest of Ovello, giving the wines here far more finesse. On the other hand, vines from Loreto must be cropped at 10 hl/ha less than other Ovello vines if the wine is bottled under the parcel name, so this wine balances its finesse with real density. As in most years, you get Ronchi’s architecture and Cottà’s prettiness here.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto is a bright, nervy Barbaresco. Kirsch, dried flowers, chalk, mint and white pepper give the 2020 its distinctive upper register. This mid-weight, vibrant Barbaresco needs time to soften. It is the most reticent of these wines.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2020
Added
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Angelo 2020
Added

Albino Rocca Barbaresco Angelo 2020

This producer has been through an incredible journey in recent years. The catalyst was the sudden passing in 2021 of family patriarch Angelo Rocca. Angelo was already moving the estate back to a more classic style (having come full circle), and after his death, his three daughters decided to produce a wine in his honour. Speaking with their grandfather, Albino Rocca (Angelo’s father and founder of the estate), the Rocca sisters formulated the idea of making a wine the way it had been done back in Albino’s day. The first release of the Angelo Barbaresco was such a success that it has inspired evolution across all the wines, and two wooden fermenters are now at the winery.

Angelo is a small blend of fruit from selected parcels across the estate. It was given a lunga macerazione (50 days on skins using a submerged cap) in a specially designed large-format wooden Stockinger fermenter. The wine was then aged for 24 months in a 2,000-litre cask. The blend is typically 50% Ronchi, 25% Ovello and 25% Montersino. Galloni has described it as a “Brunate of Barbaresco”, which gives you some insight into the quality on offer here.

As you would expect, the 2020 Angelo is the most complex and brooding of Rocca’s 2020 Barbarescos. Given time, the wine’s ethereal structure and lush, red-fruited succulence will mesh nicely with the layers of dried flowers, deep spice and earthy depth. In the meantime, there is something charmingly ‘old school’ that the extended maceration has brought—something indescribably complex, too. Yet, the wine remains magically fresh, pure and refined, with the supporting structure hovering in the background.

“The 2020 Barbaresco Angelo is an exotic wine. Macerated cherry, white flowers, apricot and spice are some of the many notes that grace this sensual, super-expressive Barbaresco. Fine tannins wrap it all together while lifted floral accents frame the finish. The Angelo is beautifully done.”
94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Albino Rocca Barbaresco Angelo 2020
Added

“This is another strong set of Barbarescos from Albino Rocca.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Other Recent Releases

  • Spinifex
    Spinifex
    As one of the Barossa’s most influential figures of the last few decades, Pete Schell h...
    As one of the Barossa’s most influential figures of the last few decades, Pete Schell has been a key player in reshaping the narrative around moder...

    Read more

  • Eva Fricke
    Eva Fricke
    Eva Fricke describes the 2022 vintage as “raw and wild”. In a clear display of her natu...
    Eva Fricke describes the 2022 vintage as “raw and wild”. In a clear display of her natural talent and attuned viticultural intellect, Eva has tamed...

    Read more

  • Inside Burgundy Special Offer
    Inside Burgundy Special Offer
    Jasper Morris MW’s Inside Burgundy has been the benchmark reference on Burgundy’s wines...
    Jasper Morris MW’s Inside Burgundy has been the benchmark reference on Burgundy’s wines, winemakers and vineyards since its first publication in 20...

    Read more

  • Bérêche and Mouzon Leroux
    Bérêche and Mouzon Leroux
    “Without a doubt, two of the most interesting grower-producers in Champagne today,” wri...
    “Without a doubt, two of the most interesting grower-producers in Champagne today,” writes our own Robert Walters, author of Bursting Bubbles. “Bér...

    Read more

  • Stateside Stars of Chardonnay
    Stateside Stars of Chardonnay
    The Chardonnay grape is known for its malleability. Excesses of sunshine and winemaking...
    The Chardonnay grape is known for its malleability. Excesses of sunshine and winemaking have been known to abuse this compliant nature, not least i...

    Read more

  • Domaine Alain Graillot
    Domaine Alain Graillot
    “Domaine Alain Graillot’s Crozes-Hermitage has long been a benchmark wine for the regio...
    “Domaine Alain Graillot’s Crozes-Hermitage has long been a benchmark wine for the region. Thanks to worldwide distribution, starting in the mid- to...

    Read more

  • Daniel Bouland
    Daniel Bouland
    Jasper Morris’s quote—nabbed from his Instagram—neatly sums up Daniel Bouland’s 2022 re...
    Jasper Morris’s quote—nabbed from his Instagram—neatly sums up Daniel Bouland’s 2022 release. Even Bouland himself struggled to find fault in his w...

    Read more

  • Lambert Wines
    Lambert Wines
    Luke and Rosalind are loving these long, La Niña-influenced seasons. 2023 was the lates...
    Luke and Rosalind are loving these long, La Niña-influenced seasons. 2023 was the latest in a trio of cool, low-yielding and late-harvesting season...

    Read more

View All Offers

More Content

More on this Producer
Welcome