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The wines of Roberto Voerzio, Piedmont , Italy

Roberto Voerzio is one of the stars of Piedmont , famous for his stunning Barolos, which are now ‘cult’ wines. He’s a modernist to the extent that he steers clear of the traditional tannic style, but while his wines show good ripeness and he uses new barrels, they’re not over-extracted and oaky. Because there’s an eager market for Barolo, and good Barolos are never cheap, unsurprisingly Voerzio’s top wines are trophy items priced out of the range of mere mortals like me.

This was a small selection of his wines, ranging from the relatively affordable Dolcetto to the exciting Barolo La Serra. As an aside, I find the Nebbiolo-based wines of Barolo and Barbaresco thrillingly different: well handled Nebbiolo is quite unlike any other grape variety, and is one of the hardest to ‘get’, with its complex non-fruit flavours and aromas. But it is worth the effort.

Retail prices are given in brackets. Wines are available from UK agents The Wine Treasury (tel. 020 7793 9999), who will also have details of the relatively few retail outlets that carry them.

Roberto Voerzio Chardonnay Langhe ‘Fossati’ 1999
The last vintage of this wine: the vineyard has since been replanted with Nebbiolo. Intense herby nutty nose is complex and full. Rich, softly textured palate with appealing herby, savoury fruit. Very good/excellent (£15.25)

Roberto Voerzio Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Priavino’ 2001
Intense vibrant fruit on the nose. The palate displays concentrated spicy-edged berry fruit. Deeply savoury and quite an intense wine. Very good+ (£11.35)

Roberto Voerzio ‘Vignaserra’ 2000 Langhe
Predominantly Nebbiolo with a dash of Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon. Slightly faded colour, and the nose is a little closed. The palate is taut, savoury and spicy with a concentrated herby edge. Good concentration and great potential for future development. Very good+ (£20.65)

Roberto Voerzio Barolo ‘La Serra’ 1998
Quite deep coloured. Intense, tight-knit savoury nose is full and spicy with tarry, leathery undertones. The concentrated palate is firm and spicy with lots of tannic structure. Great balance and lots of potential here. A very exciting expression of Barolo. Excellent (£90)

Roberto Voerzio Barbera d’Alba Riserva ‘Pozzo dell’ Annunziata’ 1998
Opaque red/black colour. Sweet, intense liquoricey nose with herbal complexity. Lovely inky texture on the palate: hugely concentrated and tannic with a spicy finish. Brilliantly done. Very good/excellent (£155 per magnum)

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