Luigi Pira Barolo, Marenca Cru | 2020


Marenca is a remarkable site. Located in the Serralunga d’Alba commune, it neighbors Margheria, and there is one other producer who makes an estate-bottled wine from here: Angelo Gaja. Historically a grape farmer who sold fruit and bulk wine, Luigi Pira didn’t bottle his own wines until the early 1990s. Since then, the style has evolved from a flashy one into a pragmatic one, applying moderate macerations, in-the-middle fermentation times (10-20 days), and a mixed bag of oak types and sizes in the cellar, mostly used. It’s a style that has erased the played-out conversation of “Modern vs. Traditional” and is becoming the new Barolo benchmark: elegance within power.  

While the Margheria Cru has sandy soils, Marenca has calcareous and clay soils which make it more of a powerhouse wine, yet it’s approachable in its youth versus the long-haul stalwarts of Serralunga (Vigna Rionda, Francia, Gabutti). This makes Marenca one of my favorite sites for Nebbiolo on the planet, and when you consider its rarity, it’s spectacular. Aged in a combination of French tonneaux (500L) and Slavonian oak, the glass is magnetic with sandalwood spice, rosy truffle, and pitch-black cherries. The palate is luxurious, over austere, but it’s Barolo to-the-bone with long-legged tannin and a high-wire acidity to stretch out the finish. Call this style whatever you like, but it’s not modern, nor old-school; it’s in the middle, a mysterious "sweet spot" for authentic and beautiful Barolo. ~Allegra A

Main Grape
Winemaking style
More Natural
Try with
Pan Fried Gnocchi with Morels

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