When you check out the logo of Cascina delle Rose in Barbaresco, you see a dog, a cat and a bird, in perfect harmony, and that’s what this winery is about. The Rizzolio family bought the winery of Tre Stelle in 1948 as a Summer retreat, but the property itself was farmed according to La Mezzadria, a typical system of upper Italy where half of the production is for the residing farmers and the other half for the owners. You can say they bought the Cascina for their own family consumption. In 1992 Giovanna inherited the farm and she started to produce the wine on her own. And until today it’s still a small winery, with a production of only 18.000 bottles a year. It consists of 5 hectares of which 3 hectares are planted with vines, 1,2 hectares with hazelnuts and the rest consists of woodlands. This biodiversity is very important for the family, as they intend to make the wine as natural as possible, with no fertilisers and a minimal use of copper and sulphur. In 1997 Italo and his sons joined Giovanna: Davide takes care of the land and the cellar, Riccardo is responsible for sales and marketing, and he runs the B&B they have created on the propertyThe wines from Cascina delle Rose are by all means spectacular. The winery is on the Tre Stelle cru and they’re the only producer on this cru! Until 2005 this cru was part of the highly prized Rio Sordo cru, until the Consorzio and the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco divided the two vineyards. Now they produce Rio Sordo and Tre Stelle Nebbiolo. We preferred the Tre Stelle. This Barbaresco has a female touch, with some roses and violets and some spiciness and elegant ethereal notes at the end. And it has a lot of minerality, not unexpected if you know the soil beneath the winery has some bluish marls (the ‘tufo’) and is very calcareous. In the cellar, they made a very nice display to take a better look at this soil, as you can see in the picture! The Rio Sordo has the same characteristics but is heavier, with some more pepper and leather, but very nice with some red meat dishes we think!
We also tasted the Dolcetto, and found it very delicate! This everyday wine is not the most simple wine to make (Dolcetto is an exacting grape) and has a bit of tannines (typical for this area, the Dolcetto of the Asti region is much softer) but this Dolcetto is still very elegant and not so ‘rustic’ as the other Dolcetto’s we tasted in Alba. The Langhe Nebbiolo also comes from the Tre Stelle vineyards, so we recognised the same minerality and even the same hints of roses and violets, but here there’s no wood. Still the wine is very precise and pure, they have to take only the best berries to create this freshness with elegant tannines. The Barbera d’Alba is located between the border of Rio Sordo and Tre Stelle and like the Nebbiolo cru’s they are aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for approximately 15 months. This wine gives the typical acidity of a Barbera with some spiciness, and in the 2012 we discovered some raisins as well.
We are a fan of the wines of this Cascina. The family works as natural as possible and all the wines, from the basic Dolcetto to the cru Rio Sordo, have the same elegance and pureness we miss sometimes in other wines. It has to be very pleasant in their B&B (3 rooms and 4 apartments) with these charming owners, so bes ure to check it out!