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Cigliuti Barbera d'Alba Serraboella 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Fratelli Cigliuti winery is situated on the Serraboella hill, 350 metres above sea level, overlooking the village of Neive, in the Langhe region of Piemonte, N.W. Italy. Neive is one of the three villages responsible for producing Barbaresco from the Nebbiolo grape. The territory of Langhe is characterised by hills, steep slopes and a predominantly calcareous clay soil. The climate is mainly continental, with important differences in microclimate depending on the site. This terroir brings minerality, complexity, personality and longevity to the wines.
The estate is made up of 5 hectares on Serraboella, and 1.5 hectares on Bricco di Neive. Serraboella, rich in calcareous clay, is planted with Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto; incorporating the single vineyard 'Campass'. The sandier Bricco di Neive is planted exclusively with Nebbiolo. The Cigliuti family tend the vineyards themselves, by hand, and in a way which respects the environment. Yields are kept low in order to harvest the finest fruit.
Beloved for flavorful red wines, Alba is an epicurean’s dream. The historic walled town at its heart is where growers from throughout the Piedmont region would once go to sell their produce to winemakers and négociants following the harvest, but today it is better recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations. Sandwiched between Barolo and Barbaresco, the best vineyards, located atop sunny, south-facing hills, are planted with Nebbiolo. A popular entry-level alternative to its pricier neighbors, Nebbiolo d’Alba is softer and less tannic, ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling.
Dolcetto, one of Piedmont’s more easygoing varieties, is commonly grown here, known as Dolecetto d'Alba, and can often be found casually served in carafes on the tables of Alba’s oseterias and trattorias. These light and smooth wines are meant to be drunk young and with gusto while the region’s more serious wines age. Barbera is planted here as well, and takes on a more powerful, structured personality than that of its counterparts in Asti.
Friendly, approachable, and full of juicy fruit flavor, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from young and fruity to serious, spicy, and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but is also planted in the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It is one of the most successful and lasting remnants of the Cal-Italian movement, grown throughout the state of California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and has also found a foothold in parts of Australia.
In the Glass
Barbera is typically marked by red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry flavors backed by a signature zingy acidity and smooth tannins. More complex examples can include notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise, and nutmeg. In warmer New World climates, Barbera is all about the fruit, sometimes leaning towards over-ripe or dried fruit flavors that can give an impression of sweetness to the wine. Old World Barbera can develop intriguing notes of graphite, smoke, lavender, and violet.
Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, therefore making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers, or barbecue.
Most Barbera wines come from one of two villages in Piemonte—Alba and Asti. Though it is difficult to generalize, typically Barbera d’Asti is softer and more elegant with bright, tangy acidity, while Barbera d’Alba tends to be fuller, rounder, and fleshier.