Color - Ruby-red with garnet highlights
Bouquet - delicate, though intense nose is complex, with clear-cut overtones of withered roses, violets, tobacco, underbrush, spices, and a slight touch of vanilla.
Taste - Dense, closely-woven tannins start out smooth, almost velvety, and then explode in the palate with fruit and nicely balanced freshness. Long flavorful finish.
Wine Spectator 91 points - Sweet strawberry and cherry aromas. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Focused, with clean, rich fruit, offering lots of dark berry notes. Shows plenty of polish. Best after 2011. 1,500 cases made.-JS
(Dec 15 2009)
Vinous 91 points - The 2005 Barolo La Rosa is a graceful, floral wine laced with perfumed red fruit, roses, sweet spices and minerals. The La Rosa possesses gorgeous textural richness in a soft, approachable style, with a long, refined finish that rounds things out. Today the wine comes across as quite primary, but with some additional time in bottle it should develop additional tertiary nuance. The tannins gain on the finish in this deceptively medium- bodied Barolo.
Wine Advocate 91 points - The 2005 Barolo La Rosa is a graceful, floral wine laced with perfumed red fruit, roses, sweet spices and minerals. The La Rosa possesses gorgeous textural richness in a soft, approachable style, with a long, refined finish that rounds things out. Today the wine comes across as quite primary, but with some additional time in bottle it should develop additional tertiary nuance. The tannins gain on the finish in this deceptively medium- bodied Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022. (Oct 2009)
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All grapes for this single vineyard offering come from the “La Rosa” vineyard in the village of Serralunga. Vines are planted in 820-980 feet above sea level and the soils of Miocene-Helvetian origin are packed with calcareous marl and clay, with plenty of quartzose sand and good permeability.
Wine maker notes
Vines are guyot trained with plant density at 4,600 plants/ha. Following hand harvest in mid-October, grapes are de-stemmed and crushed. The crushed grapes are warmed to around 89-91°F, and the process of pumping the juice over the cap of skins begins immediately. This takes place very frequently over the first 3 days in order to extract an optimal amount of color and tannins. As the alcohol content increases, the extraction of too many tannins is prevented by dropping the temperature to around 77°F, and reducing the volume of liquid pumped over the skins. During this maceration lasting 20-30 days, delastages are performed to improve the extraction of the tannins, and at the same time to oxygenate the yeast so it will ferment in ideal conditions to provide cleaner, more
elegant aromas. The alcoholic fermentation is followed immediately by the malolactic fermentation, which is encouraged by keeping the wine in temperature-controlled tanks at 68°F.
It is excellent served with flavorful meat dishes and mature cheeses.
In the heart of wine-growing Piedmont – in the hills of the Langhe – Fontanafredda was born: chronicles of the time relate that “by order of 17 June 1858? an area of 138.82 “giornate piemontesi” (approx. 54 hectares) of the property of Roggeri Giacomo, son of Giovanni Battista in Serralunga d’Alba, was registered under the private estate of Vittorio Emanuele II King of Sardinia.
The king, who had fallen hopelessly in love with Rosa Vercellana, also known as “La Bela Rusin”, a commoner and daughter of a drum major at his majesty’s service, gave the entire parcel of land to her, making her Countess of Mirafiori and Fontanfredda a year later.
The history of Fontanafredda had begun, but it did not start operating as a business venture until twenty years later, in 1878, thanks to the farsightedness of Emanuele Guerrieri, Count of Mirafiore, son of the king and Bela Rusin, a noble entrepreneur who devoted his life to wine with a very modern approach.