One of the  Hottest Wineries in Piemonte  A. Galloni: 2020 La Ca Nova Barbaresco DOCG

Before he started Vinous Media and before he divorced from Robert Parker, Antonio Galloni was studying at MIT and writing the Piedmont Report. He is an authority on the wines of Piemonte and I admire his coverage of Nebbiolo, certainly one of my favorite grapes.

Galloni’s recent descriptions of La Ca Nova are effervescent. He calls the winery “one of the hottest wineries in all of Piemonte over these last few years.” And, “the single most under the radar winery in all of Piemonte. The wines just keep getting better and better and yet the prices remain exceedingly modest.” And he continues, “I can’t recommend these wines highly enough.”

I’ve been quietly selling these wines for many years, long before Galloni’s high praise was printed. I say “quietly” because, truth be told, I wanted to keep them a secret. The winemaker and owner, Marco Rocca, only has a few pallets available for the US so the wines have always been parsed out to those in the know and always sell out.

🛒SHOP HERE: 2020 La Ca Nova Barbaresco DOCG

When I attended Vinitaly this April, as I do most years, I found Marco seated on a small bench with his five wines (he makes dolcetto and barbera too) quietly wiping down the table before I sat with him. He is a winemaker in the Burgundian fashion. He has dirt under his nails and his formal wear is khakis and a sweater from the 90’s with a hole in it. He’s more comfortable surrounded by vines than being in the casino that is Vinitaly. Marco is the type of winemaker I like to work with not only because he’s an introvert like me. There isn’t a lot of chit chat. It’s all about the wine in the bottle. There’s a mutual respect and appreciation for one another and for the craft. He knows I know wine just by my way of tasting and my pointed questions. I know he’s putting his soul into farming and winemaking and that he’s eager to get out of the city and return to the winery. Our meetings are usually short and sweet.

The property sits between two regal crus: Montefico and Montestefano. Marco makes this wine, a blended Nebbiolo, as well as individual cru wines. If you love Nebbiolo, you owe it to yourself to try and compare them all as a way of better understanding the diverse climats (aka MGAs) in Piemonte. By the way, Galloni has already rated 2020 in Barbaresco 92-95 pts saying “there is a purity to 2020’s that is immediately alluring.”

One of the joys of drinking Barbaresco, certainly the more feminine and svelte wine when compared to the velvet fisted Barolo, is that it’s accessible for earlier drinking than its more tannic, big brother. If you want to drink this wine now, give it a half hour to breathe and then enjoy the ride. 

2016 Whitehall Lane Leonardini Estate Cabernet Sauvignon