Malvirà is one of Roero’s most prestigious wine estates. It produces some serious red wines made from the Piedmont’s Nebbiolo grape. In this article, we review their single vineyard Roeros, mostly from the 2015 vintage but also including a cellar aged Roero from 2007. We also review their particularly flavorful Barbera d’Alba. We visited Malvirà while preparing our Roero report. It’s a treat to taste their wines again.
Established in the 1950s by Giuseppe Damonte, this estate is run today by brothers Massimo and Roberto Damonte. This is one of Roero’s larger wineries with 43 ha of vines, 30 of which are in the Roero appellation. They are located in 8 different vineyard sites, mostly in Canale, including the historic Vigna Renesio. The San Michele vineyard has 80 year old vines. Roberto and his son Giacomo are the winemakers, while Massimo manages the vineyards. The hotel Villa Tiboldi and its excellent restaurant are also located on the estate.
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Malvirà 2015 Mombeltramo Riserva Roero ($40) 92 A classic Nebbiolo from Roero, the single vineyard Mombeltramo reveals intriguing scents of rose petals and tobacco. It offers a silky, medium weight palate of dried red berries with herbal and dark loam notes. Finishes very long with round, firm tannins. Matured in French oak for 24 months. The soil of the 1.5 ha Mombeltramo vineyard is more calcareous than the Trinità vineyard and its exposition is more easterly. The wines from this vineyard are particularly austere in their first years of life and become softer over time.
Malvirà 2015 Renesio Riserva Roero ($40) 93 Offering an enticing floral nose of rose petals and red cherries, the Renesio is our favorite of the Malvirà Roeros. It’s more feminine and refined than the Mombeltramo. It’s very fresh and less earthy on the palate with lovely pure, concentrated red cherry and berry flavors, both fresh and dried. Aged 24 months in French oak. The Renesio vineyard is 300 meters in altitude and stretches about 4.5 hectares. The soil is made of calcareous clay, and the vineyard is located in Canale with a south facing exposition.
Malvirà 2015 Trinità Riserva Roero ($40) 91 Light, earthy notes show on the nose of this lighter bodied Nebbiolo. It offers a soft attack with medium concentration of fruit on the palate and finishes with firm tannins. Needs a little more time in bottle to show its best. Aged 24 months in French oak. The soil of this 14 ha vineyard is made of layers of calcareous clay and sand. The exposition of the vineyard is south and south-west. The Nebbiolo vines are planted on top of the hill while Arneis is planted more towards the bottom. Aged 24 months in French oak. The soil of this 14 ha vineyard is made of layers of calcareous clay and sand. The exposition of the vineyard is south and south-west. The Nebbiolo vines are planted on top of the hill while the Arneis is planted more towards the bottom.
Malvirà 2007 Trinità Riserva Roero ($50) 93 An outstanding Nebbiolo with a bit of age on it. The 2007 Trinità offers an umami nose of mushrooms, herbs, and cloves. The palate is silky smooth with deep, savory flavors that mirror the bouquet. The tannins are still firm and dry, but the wine would pair beautifully with game, especially rabbit and duck.
Malvirà 2017 Barbera d’Alba ($27) 91 A particularly vivacious wine showing dense, dark red berry fruit complicated by notes of underbrush and smoky tobacco. There’s the expected lively acidity, but it’s smoothly interwoven, bringing brightness to the wine. Lovely depth and length. Alc 14.5%