There are actually a handful of wine-producing estates named Roagna in Piedmont. But the one we all know is Roagna “I Paglieri,” producer of one of the greatest expressions (imho) of Barbaresco.
But of all the Roagna (pronounced roh-AHN-yah) who make wine in Piedmont, there’s a little and little-known farm run by the Igino Roagna family in the village of Priocca in Cuneo province (the male name Igino, ee-GEE-noh, is akin to Hyginus in English).
I can’t find any website or notice of the winery beyond its listing in the Cuneo chamber of commerce site.
But you can drink the wine in Houston. Some years back, my friend Houston Chronicle sports and wine writer Dale Robertson “discovered” the wine on a trip to Langa. After he introduced it to local importer Doug Skopp of Dionysus Imports (based in Houston), Doug picked up the wines.
As far as I know, Texas is the only state where you’ll find it.
When Tony’s sommelier Scott Banks poured the Roagna Igino 2011 Nebbiolo d’Alba for me and cousin Marty during our birthday week earlier this month, I couldn’t help but think about how we often overlook this wonderfully approachable expression of my favorite red grape.
All too often, Barbaresco and Barolo elide our impressions of the grape’s more humble incarnations. And it’s a pity because young, fresh Nebbiolo — like this one — is so delightful at the dinner table.
It paired beautifully with aged steak and morels on a Tuesday night at Tony’s, the flagship restaurant of my good friend and client Tony Vallone.
The wine was lithe in the glass and its acidity and gentle touch of tannin danced marvelously with the rich steak and the earthy flavors of the mushrooms.
During my birthday week, I tasted current vintage of two of my all-time favorite wines, the 2008 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo and the 2010 Produttori del Barbaresco (classic) Barbaresco, each a legacy expression of Langa in its own right.
But the little-known Roagna Igino was just right for steak with cousin Marty on a Tuesday night. It was great to be reminded that Nebbiolo doesn’t need to be “the best” or “the greatest” to hit the spot.