Luigi Pira

2016 'Marenca' Barolo

Nebbiolo •Cru Marenca

Italy: Piedmont

Avg. Price
(33% off)

Mission Briefing


Tough pick

“One of Piedmont’s superstars… these are wines of extraordinary complexity and breathtaking richness. The spectacular offerings from Pira’s vineyards in and around Serralunga d’Alba are among the more riveting examples.” – Robert Parker

And we are riveted to bring you some of this rarity. Only for those in the know. In fact, those who know know that Pira and GAJA are the only two vintners who bottle a wine entirely from Marenca. GAJA makes the Sperss which can set you back $500 a bottle, and Pira makes this rendition that you can snag here for just $50.

Not a hard choice now, is it?

The catch? Very little made and our allocation was a fraction of that.

But that’s all hyperbole when we can simply let the reviews do the talking on this insiders’ find…

97 Points – Greg Sherwood MW

“With one of the only other Marenca Crus produced going into the Gaja Sperss Barolo cuvee, you know this is a very special site. So, with Sperss 2016 garnering a perfect 100 points from the Wine Advocate, you would expect this wine to also show something extra special sharing the same terroir. This Marenca is almost like a subtle blend of the Pira Margheria and the Pira Serralunga Barolo wines with rich, plump, bold dark berry nuances, pink musk, charcoal embers, licorice and potpourri spice but also notes of freshly tilled earth, crushed gravel, iron and blood together with a fabulous dried herb and wood spice melange. The palate is deceptively generous and cool with seductively textured layers of blue and black berry fruits, cassis, black currant, purple rock candy, graphite and the most suave fleshy plump tannins I have tasted on a Nebbiolo in a long time. This really is classy and classical, yet supremely ripe, intense and just drop dead gorgeous. A very fine effort from Pira!”

95 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“The 2016s are some of the best Barolos I have tasted from Giampaolo Pira. These days, Pira’s Barolos are more finessed than in the past, with less extraction and more harmonious oak. Pira insists he has changed little, but the move to pick a bit earlier in the past and small refinements that come with experience are clearly visible. The straight Barolo and Margheria are aged in cask, while the Marenca and Vignarionda see 12 months in barrel (500L and 225L respectively) followed by a year in cask. The 2016s are superb across the board. The 2016 Barolo Marenca is powerful, deep and richly constituted, but also reflects Giampaolo Pira’s move towards a style that showcases a good deal of Nebbiolo translucence. Swaths of Marenca tannin wrap around a core of intense red fruit, iron, menthol, anise and dried herbs. As always, Marenca has that extra kick of fruit density and richness that works so well to play off its considerable tannic clout. Drink 2022-2036.”

94 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“You don’t see too many wines from the Marenca cru in Serralunga d’Alba, and in fact, looking through the Wine Advocate database, I only see past vintages from this single producer, Luigi Pira. The 2016 Barolo Marenca offers an accessible and open-knit personality with bold, dark fruit and distinctive mineral tones that range from crushed stone to rusty metal. The Marenca aging regime sees a combination of neutral French tonneaux and Slavonian botte grande, and that wood has served mostly to enhance balance and integration. Drink 2023-2040.”

What the Winery Says

Giampaolo Pira
100% Nebbiolo
Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo DOCG
Cru Marenca
Plot size
2.2 ha
Limestone and clay
350 meters above sea level
Vine age
31 years old
50-55 qt/ha
24 months
500-liter tonneaux & 2,500-liter Slavonian oak cask

About the Winery

Avg. Price
(33% off)
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