As if it were illuminated from inside the glass, the Almondo Roero 2017 has a limpid, saturated, bright crimson color that warms to mahoganey just at the edge. When the wine is first poured, compelling aromas of wild strawberries, sun-warmed raspberries, black mission figs, and dried pine needles move in and out of the foreground, later alternating with fleeting suggestions of walnut shells, star anise, lavender, and eucalyptus as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is juicy and vibrant: round, elegant, and generous on entry, later unfurling like a peacock’s tail, with brandied cherry and raspberry compote flavors that echo the nose, all gracefully seasoned with precise, sandy, Roero minerality. More like a fine Chambolle-Musigny than a Barolo, with a lingering, bright, delicately tannic finish.
About this wine producer: The Almondos have grown grapes in Roero for more than three centuries, but it was Domenico’s father, Giovanni Almondo, who was the first to bottle the wines. There are six hectares of Arneis, the noble white variety of Piemonte, along with four hectares of Nebbiolo for the Roeros, one-and-a-half hectares of Barbera, and a tiny parcel of Brachetto which goes into the classic, slightly sparkling, pale sweet Fosso della Rosa. Giovanni Almondo still works in the vineyards, but day-to-day operations are in the hands of Domenico and his sons, Stefano and Federico, who are all uncompromising perfectionists in the vineyard and in the cellar.