Az. Ag. Le Piane Boca DOC 2005 - 13% abv; at least 60% Nebbiolo, the rest mostly Vespolina and a little Bonarda
Boca used to be a highly regarded region in Piemonte in the 19th Century, but for some reason it fell out of favor. Le Piane have tried to resurrect the wine from the area and if this wine is anything to go by, they are doing a pretty good job!
I am glad to see that resuscitating an area isn't in this case synonymous with making bland, boring, oaky wine. The wine is aged for 3-4 years in large casks, so there is gladly no oak interference to my pleasure. It smells wonderfully of junipers and bright red berries; a little like tar and loam, too. It seems like a classically styled Barolo on the nose, which I thought a little strange since it has such a large percentage of Vespalina blended with the Nebbiolo. But apparently Vespalina is very closely related to Nebbiolo so I guess the aromatic profiles might then be very similar?
Lovely palate, too. Lighter bodied than most Barolos I have had, but it has intense and deep flavors; it is pleasantly crisp, deeply tannic and crunchy and is extremely moreish.
2005 was a difficult vintage in Boca, too, with an abnormally hot summer ended by a deluge in September. But this wine doesn't seem to suffer from it: it isn't raisiny or pruney, but neither is it dilute. It's seriously good wine and the only "problem" I see with it is that it needs more age.