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Stylized image of Roagna Langhe Rosso, 2018

Luca Roagna’s Langhe Rosso

What’s all the fuss about Luca Roagna? Luca took over his family's super-traditional winery about 20 years ago. Roagna is one of the rare Piedmont growers with top vineyards in both Barolo ("La Rocche e La Pira," a stunning, sloping site in Castiglione Falletto) and Barbaresco (mostly in "Paje," an amphitheater of a cru known for its moderate micro-climate and active limestone soils).

The vines are old — so old that Luca declassifies any Barolo and Barbaresco fruit that is less than 25 years old and puts it in his Langhe Rosso. It doesn't matter that most of those vines are older than what goes into many estate's flagship wines. To Luca, Barolo or Barbaresco means old vines. Old, old vines.

Luca makes the Langhe Rosso with all the care and attention he gives his top wines. Insanely detail-oriented farming. Long fermentations (on ambient yeast) and aging in large, neutral botti. And then, he waits. And he waits. And then, finally, years later, he ships the wine. He would legally be able to designate the wine Barolo or Barbaresco, but for the fact that he blends the two together.

The current vintage of Luca's Langhe Rosso is 2018 — keep in mind that most wineries are shipping their '21s or even '22s. With 5 years of age, it's a pleasure to drink today, but it's also built to improve with a little more time in bottle. As Galloni notes, the '18 is a little more open, a little more mature than usual; but even so he puts its optimal drinking window out to 2030.

So, if you're looking for a traditionalist Langhe Nebbiolo that is a synthesis of the best elements of Barolo and Barbaresco, made by one of the region's most assured hands, then this is your wine. But quantities are limited!

Roagna Langhe Rosso, 2018 $49.99

Dried red cherry, mint, spice, tobacco, dried leaves and worn-in leather all grace this super-expressive, ethereal Langhe Rosso. The 2018 comes across as a bit mature aromatically, so I would not push my luck on aging. Even so, it is a delicious wine for readers who want to experience a Nebbiolo with early tertiary complexity." Antonio Galloni, Vinous


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