Hidden away in the little known Barbaresco village of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, just outside Alba, is the single plot of 4 hectares (of Nebbiolo, Barbera & Dolcetto) farmed by Manuel Marinacci. A mere 1.5 ha of which lies in the Barbaresco MGA of Rocche Massalupo.
Manuel’s a young wine producer whose biggest claim to fame to date is as a class-mate of Giuseppe Mascarello at Alba’s viticultural school Umberto 1, which he left in the mid 1990s. Upon graduation Manuel worked abroad & locally for both large and small cantine/wineries before taking on the lease of the San Rocco Seno d’Elvio vineyard in 2002. Vintage 2004 was his first release. Manuel makes three wines: Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba and Barbaresco. Refreshingly Manuel immediately adopted the traditional approach to winemaking; Giuseppe’s influence perhaps rubbing off on him! His Nebbiolo for Barbaresco is vinified in either fibre-glass or cement without temperature control using selected or wild yeast. As he explains: ‘as a two-man operation I need the comfort of knowing that the ferments will happen when I’m away from the cantina’.
The Barbaresco is then aged in large slavonian botte for two years. Importantly he only vinifies that which is going into bottle with his name on it (rather than making wine out of all the crop and selling off any surplus as bulk wine); the rest is sold as fruit. So currently production of Barbaresco is at a third of capacity, circa 500 cases per annum. The style of Manuel’s wines are grounded in tradition, showing a kirsch purity & minerality normally associated with the comune of Treiso above.
From 2017, his Barbaresco will feature the MGA/vineyard name of (Vigna) Rocche Massalupo.
> Converting to organic. Bottling at 60mg/litro total & 30mg/litro free sulphur.
Barbaresco Riserva (vigna Rocche Massalupo from vintage 2017!)