photos by Jackee Donalson
While most people were hiding from the storms on Wednesday, I took the opportunity to try some fantastic Italian wine by Bruno Rocca at Veritas Wine Bar in Dallas. Luisa Rocca, daughter of Bruno Rocca was on hand to pour four of the family wines: 2009 Bruno Rocca Dolcetto d’Alba “Trifole”, 2008 Bruno Rocca Barbera d’Alba, 2007 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco and 2007 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco “Rabaja”. If you have not had much in the way of northern Italian wine, this was a great introduction.
For those of you who have never been to Veritas, it is a great little wine bar tucked onto Henderson, next to Horne and Dekker. They carry a good selection of wine and beer to choose from, including the Bruno Roccas. Instead of working from the back bar area, Brooks and Bradley (brothers and owners) had set up Luisa in the front area with her own little bar. So after braving a little rain and some lightning getting in, it was time to sit back, relax and taste some wine.
First up for the tasting was the Dolcetto d’Alba. Dolcetto is known for being a “little sweet one” (the literal translation of Dolcetto) with lower acid and bright fruit. Bruno Rocca’s “Trifole” was no exception. It carried strong aromas of strawberry, red cherry, raspberry, some baking spices and almonds (it took forever to figure out that aroma) which carried through to the palate. This was an easy drinking wine and a great way to kick start the palate for what was to come.
Next up was the 2008 Bruno Rocca Barbera d’Alba. While the fruit in this wine was similar to the Dolcetto, it had lost the jammy fruit, replacing it with more dried fruit and herb components along with a higher level of acidity. I kept tasting this wine, yearning for pasta with red sauce. When asked what she drinks most often in Italy, Luisa tried to dodge the question but eventually relented, saying that this and the next wine, the basic Barbaresco, were the usual dinner table wines.
Speaking of Barbaresco, this area produces some of my favorite wines in the world. The Nebbiolo grape produces light colored wines but that is about all that is light with this style of wine. Neither Barbaresco was lacking in tannins, acid and flavors. The first Nebbiolo was the 2007 Barbaresco. “This wine comes from the younger vines in Neive, around 5 – 13 years old” according to Luisa. Because of the vines youth, the winemaker tries to bring out more fruit for this wine than you might expect from Barbaresco. This creates a wine with a lot of fruit, both dried and fresh, on both the nose and palate. I tasted and smelled plums, dark cherry and raspberry. The mid-palate floral, with notes of rose, lavender and violets, along with baking spices like clove and allspice. Overall, this is a very good starter wine in the world of Barbaresco.
The last wine is a great example of the richness of a Barbaresco. The 2007 Barbaresco “Rabaja” was everything you expect from a true Barbaresco. It was fruity, with flavors of dried cherries, cranberries, plums and some blackberry. It was floral, with a wide array of cherry blossoms, lavender, violets and especially rose petals. It even had some other flavors that you might not commonly find in wine but were gorgeous; tar, menthol and saline are just a few examples. Overall, this was a beautiful wine that just kept getting better with each sip. The only problem that I had is that I ran out too quickly.
If you have never been to Veritas, I would highly recommend giving it a try. I found out that the guys and girls of Veritas will have another tasting today from Lambert Bridge Wines. The best part about this tasting is the price: Free! So go out and get some free wine tonight.