Yesterday we at Domenico Selections were thrilled to hear, through a customer, that Bruce Sanderson of Wine Spectator had published reviews of two more of the Cascina Roccalini wines that are a new addition to our portfolio. After having awarded a 92 to the Roccalini Barbaresco 2005 (November 30 edition), he went on to score the winery's two Barberas. For a tiny, unknown winery, such reviews are manna from heaven, no matter what your opinion of scores or the Spectator. They make a huge difference in the wines' sellability and the outlook of the producer. Facts trump attitude every time.
By the way, its says at the end of each review "25 cases imported." That's soon changing as the allocated amounts of the reviewed vintages have been increased and will arrive on these shores later in the winter.
93 BARBERA D'ALBA 2008 Terrific harmony and expression of fruit highlight this pure red. Floral, raspberry, black currant and mineral notes match the silky texture, with light-grained tannins for support. The finish may be its best feature. Drink now through 2015. 25 cases imported. –BS
90 BARBERA D'ALBA SUPERIORE 2008 Cassis and blackberry pie flavors mark this exuberant Barbera, which is bright and juicy, with firm tannins and mineral gracing the finish. Not the length of the best, but impressive. Drink now through 2014. 25 cases imported. –BS
92 BARBARESCO 2005 Though firmly structured, this is bright and fresh, with floral, cherry and tar flavors. Elegant and well-balanced, this just needs time to come together. Best from 2012 through 2025. 25 cases imported. –BS
I must add a personal observation here. The style of these wines is diametrically opposed to the blowzy, fruit-bomby stuff that Mr. Sanderson's predecessor preferred. I am hopeful that these reviews signal a long needed change in the Spectator's appreciation of Italian wines and what makes them distinctively Italian and not French or Californian wines manqués.