The grapes for this wine are grown on estate-owned vineyards located on hillsides in the Monferrato and Langhe region of Piemonte. Ruby-red in color with purple highlights. The nose is packed with black fruit, especially blackberries and plums, with slight spicy overtones hinting at black pepper and cinnamon. Sweet, soft tannins come together in a closely-woven texture that merges with the fruit, while a crisp freshness provides a long, tasty finish.
"Very plummy and grapey on the nose, with hints of chocolate. Full-bodied, soft and succulent, with lots of flavor and a long, long finish. Delicious." Wine Spectator
Since 1878 Fontanafredda Estate & Winery, located in the heart of Piedmont's Langhe region, has been a benchmark for Barolo and Barbera wines that deftly balance deep aromas and concentration of fruit with elegance. Among the prized vineyard sites belonging to Fontanafredda are those in the commune of Serralunga d'Alba, a source of some of today's most distinctive and intriguing Barolo wines.
The history of Fontanafredda is a noble one. It began in 1858, when Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, purchased the Fontanafredda estate -a former hunting preserve- as a country home. Soon thereafter, he began to produce fine red wines from indigenous grape varieties dolcetto, barbera and nebbiolo. In 1878 King Vittorio II died and his firstborn son, Count Emanuele Alberto di Mirafiori, inherited Fontanafredda. Count Mirafiori created the commercial business of wine from the estate and released the estate's first nebbiolo labeled as Barolo with the vintage 1878. Beginning in 1932, the estate transferred to Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank, who retained ownership of Fontanafredda for 76 years.
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Piedmont is located in the Northwest area of Italy, hugging the Mediterranean coast. The regional capital, Turin, is situated smack in the middle of the province. Being close to the alps, the area enjoys a high altitude, with the best vineyards benefiting from the hills and elevation. Known for its famous sub-districts, Piedmont delivers some of the most distinctive, high-quality, ageable wine of Italy. Most popular are the DOCG districts Barolo and Barbaresco, producing Nebbiolo-based wine of the same name. Two other DOCGs of note are Gattinara and Gheme – both make wine from Nebbiolo and are typically earlier to drink but more rustic than their Barolo and Barberesco partners. City-districts in the DOC category include Alba and Asti, where wine like Dolcetto d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti is made, putting the grape name before the town.
Not just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
The new release Briccotondo Barbera, 2006, is a delicious wine that far surpasses the previous vintage. The color is a vibrant ruby/purple with nice clarity. On the nose is the scent of black cherries, grape juice and plums. This is a medium bodied wine with lovely flavors of black cherries, plums, chocolate and nutmeg. This wine as ample acidity and well rounded tannins to add to the overall complexity. The finish is long and seductive. This wine was so delicious; we managed to finish of the whole bottle throughout the evening.
Tasty, but nothing special about it. Make sure not to open this bottle until late 2009/early 2010. Even after decantering for 1.5 hours it still was not what it could be with a bit more keeping. This wine has a nice plush deep ruby color and a taste that accompanies it. I tasted blackberry, chocolate, rhubarb and black cherry. On the nose I smelled cinammon a nice starchy smell to it like loaf bread. I liked it, but definately keep it for a while longer as you will not be able to enjoy it to the fullest otherwise.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.