In recent times, Vigna Rionda gets spoken about as the grand cru of the Langhe – altitude, exposure and soil profile play an integral part. As expected, this is Giampaolo’s flagship wine. The oak regime is similar to the ‘Marenca’ but with a larger portion of newer oak – around 30%. Ultra-powerful and layered in fragrances, flavours and textures. Smoke, graphite, incense, stock/porcini, sweet tobacco, violets. All this character is underpinned by a fierce, tingling acid line and a complementary sturdy structure. Natasha Johns.