Cascina delle Rose
Not Drinking Poison in Paris: n.d.p. in Piemonte - Cascina delle Rose, Barbaresco
Giovanna Rizzolio’s family has owned Cascina delle Rose since the 1940s. It was her grandparents, Betrice and Ferdinando, who bought the estate. They fell in love with the countryside scenery: the Rio Sordo Valley with its small train station and the neat vineyards on the hillside. In the background is a string of majestic castles from La Morra to Asti. On the horizon are the Alps from the Monviso to the Monte Rosa.
Although Giovanna’s family made wine as far back as 1948 (she has a few dusty bottles left in her photogenic cellars), her winemaking efforts started with the 1992 vintage. Together with her husband Italo and his sons, Davide and Riccardo, Cascina delle Rose has become one of the stars of the Tre Stelle area of Barbaresco. The crafted wines are beautiful and feminine; they shine for their light and silky tannins.
The total holdings for Cascina delle Rose are 4 hectares of vines and production has reached 24,000 bottles. She has parcels in Rio Sordo and the neighboring appellation Tre Stelle. These two crus are often cited as producing among the lightest and earliest maturing Barbaresco wines. Cascina delle Rose owns 2.5 hectares in the 15-hectare Tre Stelle cru. Organic viticulture is employed. The soil is of marine origin from the tertiary era and is characterized by bluish marls (from 1 to 3 meters deep) and by a calcareous nature. The stratification is dense and varied, rich in minerals and natural springs.
Harvest is done by hand. Grapes are softly pressed. The Dolcetto skins stay in contact with the must for about 7-9 days. The Nebbiolo and Barbera skins stay in contact with the must for about 10-20 days. Malolactic fermentation occurs at a constant temperature of 20°C. Wine is not filtered or fined. Dolcetto d’Alba and Langhe Nebbiolo vinify in stainless steel only. Nebbiolo, for Barbaresco, and Barbera mature in big Slavonian oak casks.
Cascina delle Rose is one of the properties in Barbaresco that has considerable potential under the guidance of the new generation, led by brothers Riccardo and Davide Sobrino. These are decidedly deep, textured Barbarescos from a part of the appellation where the wines are often on the lighter side. Submerged cap fermentation, aging in cask and minimal intervention are generally the rules, but it is the Sobrino brothers' youthful energy that has impressed me most of late. I am very much looking forward to seeing how things play out here in future years. The wines I tasted in cask on my most recent visit are very promising.
"Back then , proprietor Giovanna Rizzolio did everything herself. She had a bed and breakfast business to look after and two small children to raise, while her husband pursued a corporate career. The wines could only get limited attention. Some were terrific, others less so. Fast forward to today. Those two children, Davide and Riccardo, are now grown up and focused just on farming and making wine. The estate's classically proportioned wines spend around 25 days on the skins and 18-20 months in cask. Cascina delle Rose is without question one of the emerging estates in Barbaresco. Readers who have not tasted these wines should make a point of doing so, as they encapsulate everything that makes Barbaresco so alluring."
The Wines and Foods of Piedmont by Tom Hyland 2016
"Giovanna Rizzolio, along with her husband Italo Sobrino and their sons Davide and Riccardo, manage Cascina delle Rose, a splendid Barbareso estate situated in the Rio Sordo sottozona. The wines produced at this firm, from Dolcetto and Langhe Nebbiolo to their cru Barbaresco-Rio Sordo and Tre Stelle, are exceptional, offering outstanding varietal purity as well as a dedicated sense of place. Rizzolio is a captivating individual who is both a wonderful host at her bed and breakfast at the estate, as well as a very opinionated woman who has specific ideas about many subjects, be it winemaking or local bureaucracy."
"(On 2012 Vintage) These are two very pretty Barbarescos from Cascina delle Rose and proprietor Giovanna Rizzolio. Both Barbarescos are aged in cask in a tiny cellar under the family's home, which is also a charming agriturismo. The wines reflect an understated, traditional aesthetic that prizes subtlety over power."
"Over the last few years, Cascina delle Rose has emerged as one of the most pleasant surprises in Piedmont. When I first visited, about ten years ago, the wines were often pretty, but also somewhat inconsistent. It's great to see the recent focus on quality that has marked the estate's more recent releases. Readers who appreciate classically built Barbarescos will find plenty to admire."