Rocca, Sandrone and Ca' d'Gal 2020

Albino Rocca
The Rocca family continues to make all the right decisions to ensure the highest quality possible.
As strong as the 2015s are, the 2016s, which I tasted from cask, have all the potential to be even better. In fact, 2016 may very well be the best vintage I have ever tasted here. ANTONIO GALLONI

there’s much to be said for the attractive willingness of the wines of Albino Rocca; the Barbaresco unmasks the essence of nebbiolo and presents the engaging, elegant and downright feminine side of this much revered grape. In fact, the entire range trades on the same principal; honest, open and delightfully balanced wines, no matter what grape varieties are involved. NICK STOCK

Luciano Sandrone
Today his cru Cannubi Boshis and blend Le Vigne, wines at their best miraculously combining power and concentration with elegance, are amongst the most sought after internationally, almost impossible to obtain even at high price. NICOLAS BELFRAGE

From his first vintage in 1978 Luciano Sandrone set out to make a more approachable and drinkable Barolo. No one has managed to bridge tradition and innovation as brilliantly as Sandrone, rendering pointless any of the typical arguments in favor of one winemaking philosophy over the other. Over the years Sandrone has turned out a stunning group of wines, often reaching stratospheric heights. Although Sandrone’s wines are accessible when young, they also age beautifully as is demonstrated by the wines from the 1980s. Yet as magical as the older wines can be, Sandrone believes his recent releases are even better saying “today we know so much more about how to work in the vineyards and in the cellar.” I consider Luciano Sandrone’s Cannubi Boschis to be one of a handful of benchmark wines for the region, well worth the effort of finding and cellaring. ANTONIO GALLONI

Ca d’Gal
The moscato grape variety is the sole focus of this legendary estate, founded 150 years ago and now run by Alessando Boido…The estate’s moscato’s are eminently age worthy and include a Vigne Vecchie [sic] selection released after five years in bottle.  GAMBERO ROSSO

Earlier this week we had the extraordinary pleasure of hosting three of Piedmont’s star producers for a dinner to highlight their new releases. While we do many of these events here having producers of the calibre of Ca d’Gal, Albino Rocca and Luciano Sandrone here is always that little bit more exciting. While two of these producers probably don’t need much in the way of introduction, their wines being among the greats for their respective regions, but a little info and a brief introduction to Ca d’Gal may be in order.

Albino Rocca is an estate on the move which, in the hands of Angelo’s three daughters and son in law, has continued to refine their wines seeming to coax a little more finesse and energy from each vintage in recent years. The winemaking here is a beautiful amalgam of tradition and a modern understanding. Large Botti or neutral stainless steel are now almost exclusively used for most of the wines, a trend we see in a lot of great estates in the region where a younger generation is moving towards wines of more freshness and poise. Edging away from the sometimes worked wines of their parents era but still acknowledging that those were the wines that grabbed the attention of the world in their day and paved the way for so many others. Rocca is an exciting estate, as Antonio Galloni puts it “Albino Rocca is one of the most intriguing estates in Barbaresco right now.”

The wines of Luciano Sandrone probably don’t need much of an introduction to anyone familiar with Barolo. The man has helped shape what we think of the region today. His wines transcend the old debate about modernism or traditionalism and instead they weave a wonderful path of their own. Sumptuous, luscious and gorgeously textured wines that are as much a result of the man’s fanatical attention to every detail in his vineyards as it is the gift he seems to possess that coaxes the most from every year without ever leaving the wines feeling worked or burdened with unnecessary artifice. At their peak they are some of the most pleasurable and sensuous wines in all of Italy.

Ca’ d’Gal is not a producer I would expect many to be familiar with here in Australia, or indeed anywhere outside of Italy. The sole focus here is on Moscato but you simply can not compare the wines being painstakingly crafted here to any other wine of its style (with the possible exception of Saracco). Nestled in the commune of Santo Stefano Belbo they farm one small 6.5ha amphitheatre on sandy soils which are ideal for growing Moscato that has that extra nerve, that mineral zing and mouth watering energy that the best display. One tasting with them is all it takes to be convinced that this is a serious estate who are serious about what they are doing, at least is was for me. One sip of any of their wines will drive that point home. These represent the very pinnacle of the style and Sandro Boido is its master.

Three of the great estates from their respective regions and deserving of the attention they receive. We thought that considering not all of our Piedmont buyers could attend we should send you the offer so you don’t miss out on these remarkable estates.