ELIO ALTARE La Villa Rosso, Langhe DOC
The Elio Altare Langhe ‘La Villa’ comes from the La Morra sub-region. Only 200-250 dozen bottles are produced each year from Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes planted on south-east facing slopes. The vineyard, on clay and tufa stone soils, is farmed organically, but along traditional lines.
The grapes are crushed and then macerated on skins for 3-4 days in temperature-controlled rotary fermenters before fermentation using indigenous yeasts. The wine is matured for 18 months in new French oak barriques before bottling unfined and unfiltered.
The Elio Altare ‘La Villa’ shows an intense, ruby-red colour and equally intense aromas of plums and berries, plus rose petals. The palate typically shows fresh red fruits, balanced tannins and attractive acidity boosted by the Barbera component.
The 2016 Langhe La Villa is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera. This plump, rich and ripe vintage is another good choice for a cheesy pasta dish with its 15% alcohol and solid acidity. The Barbera is what gives the wine its fleshy succulence and freshness, and the Nebbiolo adds the structure and the elegance. The finished product is opulent and dense.
92 points, Wine Advocate (June 2019)
The 2016 La Villa is a blend of 60% Nebbiolo and 40% Barbera, both from Arborina. In this vintage, the weight and texture of Barbera dominate, at least in the early going. Creamy and expansive on the palate, the 2015 La Villa has a lot to offer once it fully comes together. Silky and beautifully perfumed, the 2016 is already quite expressive. It will be interesting to see if time brings a bit more harmony, although the 2016 certainly seems to have a good bit of potential.
95 points, Vinous (February 2019)
60% Barbera, 40% Nebbiolo. Mid-deep purple. Mealy oak over ripe bramble fruit and some flinty mineral. Chalky, firm tannins, with spice, some Nebbiolo tar and a mix of red and black fruit. Interesting mix that works pretty well. Some warmth to the finish, but a step up from the straight Barbera.
16/20 points, Tim Jackson MW, jancisrobinson.com (March 2019)