Ca'Viola Brichet Barbera d'Alba 2011
The Ca' Viola wine cellar is located in Dogliani, a small town in Langhe, the best place for one of the most important Piemontese grapes: Dolcetto. They produce all the traditional red wines; Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Barolo, entirely from small, exclusive parcels of vineyards situated in the most important crus. Giuseppe "Beppe" Caviola is the owner and is considered to be one of the most important oenologists in Italy. In 1997, under the wing of Elio Altare, he started to work for many emerging producers, forming part of L'Insieme Project, and the following year became a consultant to Villa Sparina.
Beppe had been involved with wine since he was a boy, ever since he first decided to attend the Enological School in Alba. After he finished his studies, he found a job at the Enological Centre in Gallo, just outside Alba. There he met Maurizio Anselmo, with whom he developed a deep friendship destined to change both their lives. Beppe rented the vineyard of his dreams, called Barturot, and began vinifying the grapes in the garage of his parents' house. One day Elio Altare, already an established star in the Barolo galaxy, tasted that wine and encouraged Beppe to bottle it. And so, in 1991, he released 860 bottles of Dolcetto, the first wine labelled with the Caviola name.
Ca' Viola is not classified as a biodynamic producer but their style of production is completely natural. In most years they don't use any chemicals in the vineyards, the wines contain only a small quantity of sulphites, and while they are not filtered, the wines are clear and without sediment even after several years. Ca' Viola doesn't add selected yeasts but prefers to rely on the yeasts found on grape skins in the vineyard.
In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.
Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.
Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.
Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.
Friendly and approachable, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera; those from Asti and Alba garner the most praise. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in some New World regions. Somm Secret—In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound and in fact most Piedmontese producers today produce both styles.