Wine Importing and Marketing Services

The Making of 100-Point Wines: Two Dazzling Barolos From One Dynamic Producer

Francesco Rava

In a world driven by instant gratification, the just released 2006 and 2016 Barolos from Roagna hail back to another era, to a time when makers of Piedmont’s classic reds conducted their craft with infinite patience and released their wines only when they deemed they were ready. So, while most producers today put their wines on the market as soon as the production regulations allow, Roagna’s Barolos and Barbarescos come out much later, in some cases even after 10 years or more depending on the wine and the vintage.

“I want to make wines that are drinkable upon release but that will also age for many years,” says Winemaker Luca Roagna, who now runs the family firm. The fifth generation of long-established Nebbiolo growers whose winemaking roots stretch back to 19th-century Barbaresco, Luca took over the reins in 2001 at just 20 years old.

A view from Asili looking toward the Pajè Cru / Francesco Rava

Besides growing up in a winemaking family, he studied viticulture and oenology at Alba’s Oenological School and holds a degree in the same subjects from the University of Turin. He also learned the trade from his father, Alfredo, who still assists him, mainly in the vineyards but also in the cellars during critical moments. But as Luca explains, “From my first harvest, my father left me lots of freedom in terms of making decisions.”

Roagna’s classically crafted wines are made with grapes from estate holdings in top vineyard areas. Their premier sites include Asili, Pajè and Montefico in Barbaresco. In Barolo, Roagna is the sole owner of the Pira cru in Castiglione Falletto that the family purchased in 1989.