Nicoletta Bocca started aquiring her land back in 1992 and has since grown to have 12 hectares. Whilst in the DOC of Langhe and close to the covertted Barolo, her parcels are sprinkled across a region just south of Barolo called Dogliani. It’s the heartland of premium Dolcetto and Nicoletta focuses mainly on this along with other Piedmont varieties including Nebbiolo and Barbera. There are wines made from ‘foreign’ grape varieties too but these are mostly white wines. A more wild area than Barolo, it’s still scattered with woods, hazelnuts and fields. A variegated landscape, dominated by the circle of the Alps and its fresh breezes that make it an ideal location for such a demanding grape like Dolcetto.
Having grown up in Milan, Nicoletta was new to winemaking and learnt as much as she could from he neighbour in 1992 when she first started. That being said, she had always visited Langhe and as her father would take the family each year. Her father also played an important role in her love of wine as he too was a lover of good wine. Because of this, her approach to wine comes from that of a drinker and she’s keen to keep this in mind.
The land is located in the commune of Dogliani, identified in the vineyard of Austri, in the sub zone of Valdiberti. The vines are on a wind-sheltered slope, exposed to the Southwest at 400 meters above sea level. The soil is medium texture, prevalently limestone and the area is Valdiberti. The vines are cultivated using a simple Guyot, with a plant density of 4000 vines per hectare. The plots are cultivated according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which foresees a different approach to the soil fertility and the use of copper and sulphur in very small quantities. The yield of wine per hectare varies according to the year from 35 to 45 hectoliters.
Hand-picked in the second half of October and brought to the cellar in fifty pound boxes, the grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in wooden vats without selected yeasts or additives that could in any way alter the expression of the vintage and terroir. The temperature is left free and uncontrolled, especially in years with cooler summers, where it would be unlikely for fermentation to arrest due to excessive alcohol. The grapes were vinified as the traditional Barolo style, with a post-fermentative maceration of ten days, leaving the wine on their skins after the alcoholic fermentation, which lasted for twelve day.
After the drawing the wine off the skins, it continues its refining in large Slavonian oak vats. The nebbiolo then remains on its fine lees, which are kept in suspension thanks to batonnage for the first 8 months. Malolactic fermentation is not encouraged in any way and it begins spontaneously the following spring. The nebbiolo, which is limpid thanks only to racking, is bottled without either clarification or filtration. After 2 years in oak, the wine spends a further 2 years in the bottle refining.
The extreme tannins of a nebbiolo from the Dogliani territory is balanced by the sweet austerity of the grapes from Serralunga, giving the wine a delicate character and a strong connection with tradition. Immediately we note delicate floral aromas, opening up to plum, raspberry and red currants, liquorice and herbal notes. On the palate it’s important, warm, tannic and powerful, concluding on a mineral note. Slightly more robust and rustic style of Nebbiolo.
Biodynamic, low sulphur, wild yeast, natural wine, women winemaker.