2021 – 94 Punti al Roero DOCG Riserva Vigna Sant’Anna 2016

Michael Franz – Wine Review Online

Antica Cascina dei Conti di Roero, Roero DOCG Riserva (Piedmont, Italy) Vigna Sant’Anna 2016 ($28):  I almost never see a bottle of this producer’s wines in the USA (importers please take note), but I’ve been fortunate to taste some really delicious ones during my annual tasting trip to Alba.  Yet, this Riserva release from the fabulous 2016 vintage is surely the best bottle every from this house on account of its wonderful sophistication and elegance.  The weather conditions in the Langhe (also home to Barolo and Barbaresco, no less) were essentially perfect during 2016, especially late in the growing season, when the weather was so even and un-threatening that producers could basically pick whenever they wished – to make wine styled however the wished.  This is on the light side of average for Riserva bottlings, but very expressive aromatically and in terms of flavor, with aromas of violets and spices leading to flavors recalling dried red and black cherries that are enlivened by fresh acidity and ultra-fine-grained tannins.  Once fully opened after aeration for a couple of hours, this shows a balance of structural elements (fruity, wood, acidity and tannin) that is virtually perfect, and after four hours the wine was amazingly integrated in light of its relative youth.  The tannins were virtually “invisible” in sensory terms, yet still supporting the wines fruit, which became ever more vivid, with a streak of fruity sweetness that marks great renditions of Nebbiolo, and enables them to stay delectable for years as they develop savory notes from time in bottle.  After giving this a thorough examination over a long evening, I tried in vain to buy it.  But I’ll keep trying.  94