Fattoria Giacomo Marengo
2001 Fontanazza Barolo
Nebbiolo •Barolo DOCG
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Mission Codename: Back Home in the Piedmont
Operative: Agent White & Agent Baco Noir
Objective: Resume regular winery recon with Agent Baco Noir
Mission Status: Ongoing!
Current Winery: Fattoria Giacomo Marengo
Wine Subject: 2001 Fontanazza Barolo DOCG
Winemaker: Emilio Maregno & Roberto Voerzio
The greatest of all Italian wines are arguably made with from the Nebbiolo grape. Barolo, from the Piedmont made this grape famous, and for good reason. Most people don’t give Barolos enough time and drink them young, but those patient enough to wait at least 7 – 8 years, and often as much as 20 plus years are handsomely rewarded with a wine that is the ultimate expression of the grape. The most prized bottlings of Barolo are those from an exceptional single vineyard.
2001 was an exceptional vintage rated 97 points by Wine Enthusiast in the Piedmont and these wines are just now really hitting their peak.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Clear and medium dark garnet with ruby red in color with orange and brick hues along the edges. This wine has an almost port like color quality to it. Slow thin legs line the edge of the glass when swirled.
Smell – This wine has an amazing nose, immediate after opening the bottle you’ll be hit by a perfectly balance blend of red and black fruit, licorice, floral potpourri, Italian zesty tar and toast. (Waiting for this wine to open up, I had a glass sitting on my desk near my window, I was hit with more amazing aromas every time the wind blew over the top of the glass.)
Feel – The attack on this full-bodied wine is smooth and dry with fine tannins. Clearly old-world in its texture with hints of spice and balanced acidity.
Taste – Balanced flavors of tart red and blank berries, sour cherry and cranberries balanced against subtle earthy tar, a touch of toasted vanilla and licorice and anise spice.
Finish – Extremely long and clean with tart berries and ripe plums, fine tannins and a touch of tar and licorice that invite another sip.
Conclusion – This Barolo is both elegant and complex with an outstanding nose, supple texture and great old-world flavors. For best results, let this wine breathe for several hours or decant this wine.
After months of chasing Agent Baco Noir all over Italy, I had finally made contact with her. While the game was fun, evading me, all the while leading me from one exceptional winery to the next, the constant back-and-forth intertwined with other trips to France and back to the states was taking its toll.
It is much easier when our agent on the ground is playing straight and arranging direct contacts with the region’s best wineries. Now that I had her under wraps again, we could focus.
Traveling from Diano d’Alba to La Morra was a short trip west bound. Agent Baco Noir directed us to a small vineyard in La Fontanazza were we were greeted by winemaker Emilio Maregno of Fattoria Giacomo Marengo, whose primary winery is down in Tuscany. A quick tour of the vineyard, which has been in the possession of the family for over 100 years, revealed simply exceptional fruit, planted in extremely dense rows, resulting in low per vine yields. Then when ripe, only the best fruit is selected.
From there, enter Roberto Voerzio, one of the Piedmont’s most prolific oenologists (and producer of his own Barolo also). Marengo takes this exceptional fruit to the modern production facilities of Voerzio to undergo vinification. That with careful aging for 24 months in new French barrels and then at least 12 months in the bottle before release. In this release only 200 cases were produced.
As with most Barolo, they are drunk way to young. This one, at seven years old is just now revealing its true expression. This wine will cellar for years to come but will also make a perfect compliment to your next meal. My ideal pairing suggestion… Ossobuco alla Milanese.
Ahh, its good to be back in the Piedmont.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location La Morra and La Fontazanna where the grapes for this wine were grown can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards and Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Spectator – Wonderful perfumes of raspberry, dried flowers and berries. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Best after 2007. 200 cases made. – JS
About This Wine:
The wine is obtained from Nebbiolo grapes cultivated at the highest possible plants density per hectare, according to Nebbiolo vines. The wonderful position of the vineyard, the low production per plant (around 500 gr) and the careful manual selection of the perfect grapes only provide vintages of the highest quality.
The fermentation is very long (20-25 days), in small steel vessel, at controlled temperature (22-25°C) with frequent manual plungings.
The malolactic fermentation and the successive ageing of the wine take place in new French barriques for 24 months. When bottled, the wine makes a final refining in the bottle for at least 12 months.
About The Winery:
The estate of Giacomo Marengo located around the medieval fortress of Rapale on the south facing, sunny hills between Arezzo and Siena in Tuscany has 149 acres of 25 year old vines under cultivation. Giacomo Marengo cultivates all his vines according to the strictest biological standards, earning him the seal of the leaf on the back of the label.
The farm grows both the original grapes of Tuscany, ( Sangiovese, Trebbiano, black Canaiolo and Malvasia) as well as newer grapes to the area, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. All grapes are harvested by hand, the bunches thinned to provide maximum flavor. Each vineyard is harvested during the fall as the grapes mature, which can mean several harvests in an off vintage year.
After the grapes are brought to the winery, the red grapes are pressed gently, to remove stems and pits which might impart unpleasant tannins to the wine. The newly pressed wine is then put in inox or cement tanks, which are temperature controlled. Red wines are fermented 18 to 20 days, whites and rose wines are fermented 15 to 20 days at temperatures of 15 degrees Celcius to bring out the fruit.
The result are wines that are soft, full, and generous, with delicate red-berry fruit, enhanced by a backdrop of soft tannins.
Appelation: Barolo DOCG
Production area: La Fontanazza area – La Morra (Cuneo)
Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%
Vineyard Altitude: 500 mt.
Vineyard age: 12 years
Production per ha: 30 Hl
Colour: Intense garnet red
Flavour: Black currant, liquorice, red fruits and vanilla
Taste: Well balanced, full body, and complex and very long lasting, with amazing sweet tannins.
Alcohol: 14.0% vol.
Service temperature: 18 – 20 °C
Food Matching: Red meat, braised beef, aged cheese.