E. Molino Barolo Bricco Rocca 2014

E. Molino

More Wines from E. Molino

Our tasting impressions

Incipient tobacco, earthy, and spicy complexity greets the nose, which remains, fresh and airy. In the mouth, the dark fruit is muscular, tense and dense with lovely spice and earth on the backend. Quite tannic but the tannins are lovely, sweet, tight, and lend elegance to the long, detailed finish.  It is not built on fruit but it's fabulous with terrific tension and nuance. Simply superb. One of the best 2014's I’ve tried. Introduced by noted Italian wine expert Gregory Dal Piaz.


About this wine

Sergio didn’t produce a Riserva in 2014 so his best Nebbiolo found its way into this wine. The fermentation and maceration was less than 3 weeks due to the delicacy of the vintage. The wine is aged in steam bent barriques, which precludes toasty, oaky aromas. The sandy soils minimize the tannins and Sergio tries to accentuate the elegance of the site. Less than 1,700 bottles produced from just over 3/4 of a hectare. The vines were planted in 1951 with others in 1975 and 2000.


About the grape

Nebbiolo, the name believed to be derived from nebbia, Italian for fog, is a grape with one of the most protracted maturation cycles. It buds in early spring and ripens late fall (when the winter nebbia from the Alps reaches the vineyards).


Nebbiolo vines tend to grow upwardly with abandon, so management is essential to limit grape production and channel energy to them. They also are very particular about where they will thrive, which is why Nebbiolo is seldom found outside of Piedmont. Even there, it only is successful when planted on south facing slopes (much sun is needed for ripening), at elevations between 250 and 450 meters (lower there is too much frost exposure, higher the grapes won’t ripen).


Wines from Nebbiolo usually are pale-colored, high in acidity and very tannic. Common flavor descriptors are rose and tar. They tend to be highly aromatic.


About the vintage

2014 offered no shortage of challenges to winemakers in Barolo. Several bouts of hail, seemingly constant rainfall and a chilly, sun-starved summer resulted in many light and diluted wines. Many estates didn’t produce Barolo but the diligent and gifted wine makers willing to reduce yields, like those who partner with VDLT, were able to craft beautiful and accessible wines. Despite doomsday reports, the best wines of 2014 are fresh and excellent - not just for a tough vintage, but without qualification.


On your table

This is an easy barolo to pair with food. It would happily pair with game birds, duck, all sort of wild game ragu, but would be just as at home with a regular Bolognese, or mushroom rich dishes.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

E. Molino

Sergio Molino is a highly respected consulting enologist in Piedmont and throughout Italy. This success emboldened him to resurrect his own family's farm and to produce wine from his own vines. The picturesque vineyard sits just below the church of Annunziata.

The Molino family vineyards, bottled under the Ernesto Molino label, as homage to Sergio’s father, lies within the Barolo commune of La Morra, at the base of the hill that leads up to town, just across the border from Castiglione Falletto. Locations such as these, low down on a slope, were considered less desirable but with global warming, the cool air that settles here at night now helps to moderate the heat and add freshness to the wines. Being lower down on a slope also helps alleviate hydric stress (when plants release more water than they absorb) - part of the double whammy climate change is inflicting on Piedmont. 

Sergio has a delicate touch in the cellar, preferring to allow the vineyards to speak for themselves. With only a single Barolo vineyard, and a total of just 2.5 hectares under vine, his is a true micro-winery. His wines are distinct, traditional expressions of Piedmont’s grapes, produced with a technical precision honed over decades of consulting work. His tiny quantities of unique wines are an insider’s secret because Sergio is too busy to promote his own wines and is careful not to outshine his clients.