Rocche dei Manzoni is without question one of the most strikingly beautiful estates in Piedmont. The wines bear the indelible Francophile sensibility of proprietor Rodolfo Migliorini who spares no expense in his quest to make the finest wines possible. Rodolfo Migliorini has endured a series of personal tragedies that no one should ever have to experience. The separate losses of his mother, father and brother in just over a year is truly saddening. The estate favors 100% new French oak but prior to bottling most of the wines spent 6-12 months in 2-3 year old larger French-oak casks, which has given the wines an extra dimension of transparency. The 2005 Barolos are especially of note. The heavy toast, sweetness and volume of past vintages are gone, and what has begun to emerge are superb, sculpted Barolos that combine the best elements of modern and traditional schools. For the 2005 Barolos fermentation/maceration lasted about 21 days. The wines then went into 100% new French oak barrels, where they completed malolactic fermentations. The wines spent three years in French oak prior to being moved into large neutral oak, where they spent an additional eight months. The wines underwent a light fining with egg whites but were not filtered prior to being bottled. In 2005 proprietor Rodolfo Migliorini used the grapes he picked before the rains for his single-vineyard Barolos, while parcels that were picked after the rains went into the Barolo Rocche. Unfortunately in 2005 there is no Riserva Madonna Assunta La Villa or Pianpolvere Soprano, but otherwise readers can look forward to the full range of Barolos, a vintage Migliorini is excited about. These wines are all highly recommended.

website: www.barolobig.com