Bruno Rocca took charge of the family business when his father died in 1978. Previously, Bruno had been working at Ferrero Rocher in Alba, because the family farm could not support more than one family by selling its grapes. He started bottling the wine and soon established a name for himself as one of the finest producers in Barbaresco, thanks in no small part to his vineyards on the prized hill of Rabajà. Today, Bruno runs the estate with daughter Luisa and son Francesco. Total production is around 65,000 bottles.
Stylistically, Bruno is a consummate modernist, making wines (from his 15 hectares of vineyard) of great fruit intensity that retain the structure and elegance of the Langhe at its best. Anyone who deems Barbaresco lighter and more ‘feminine’ (as the old books say) than Barolo should try Bruno’s wines. Due to low yields from a fabled slope like Rabajà, the wine has a wonderful intensity and balance. Their two single vineyard wines are from the ‘Rabajà’ and the ‘Currà’ Crus. They are approachable yet elegant and, while drinking well now, capable of ageing beautifully over the next decade. Their most recently released Barbaresco Riserva ‘Currà’ and Barbaresco Riserva ‘Rabajà’ are both produced from a strict selection of grapes and matured in French oak casks for 24 to 36 months, then a further 24 months in bottle, before release. This year, Bruno is releasing the 2013 vintage of the Barbaresco ‘Maria Adelaide’. Made exclusively in the best vintages from a selection of their most outstanding vineyards, it is dedicated to Bruno’s mother, Maria Adelaide, who guided the family with her extensive knowledge of the Barbaresco vineyards and wines. Each is an ode to Nebbiolo, with the elegance and finesse that are Bruno Rocca’s signature.
Their Barbera d‘Alba, from 50-year-old vines, is complex and structured. The grapes for his Barbaresco come from younger vineyards, some of which are on sandier soil, resulting in a more forward, perfumed wine. It is superb for drinking now.
Vintage 2019 started with a snowy winter which provided the soil with water reserves. From February onwards warm temperatures led to an early budding. Flowering took place between mid-May and beginning of June. Summer was dry without rainfalls from the second half of June throughout the month of July, and temperatures were stable with highs well above 30°C. However, the vineyards did not suffer from drought, thanks to the plentiful water reserves accumulated during the early months of the year. The high temperatures over summer meant grapes reached ripeness ten days earlier than the previous vintage. A careful, targeted green harvesting was carried out, managing foliage carefully to cover grapes and avoid sunburn. At harvest yields were on average in terms of quantity. The fruit quality was very promising with excellent tannins which will certainly ensure elegant long-lasting wines with good structure and colour intensity.