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Cigliuti Barbera d'Alba Serraboella 2009

Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

This single-vineyard Barbera is from 15 years old vines grown in a slightly lower part of the Serraboella vineyard where the southeastern exposed soils contain more clay than calcareous limestone. It spends 18 months in neutral French oak barrels. Black cherry, black raspberry, mushroom, and earth mingle on the nose with pepper, licorice, smoke, and subtle oak spices. It has great texture and length.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

Deep layers of rich, resonant fruit emerge from the 2009 Barbera d'Alba Serraboella. There is plenty of 2009 vintage fleshiness, along with an additional dimension of volume from the aging in neutral French oak barrels, but it is the purity of the fruit that comes through most clearly in this highly engaging, utterly delicious Barbera.

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Cigliuti

Cigliuti

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Cigliuti, , Italy
Cigliuti
Fratelli Cigliuti dates back to a time when Renato's father and his brother sold grapes and wine in bulk to local private customers. In 1964 Renato Cigliuti, the current owner & winemaker, inherited the estate and was the first to bottle his family's wine. The estate remains family owned and run, now into its fifth generation with daughters Claudia and Silvia. We produce approximately 30,000 bottles from our own vineyards of 6.5 hectares.

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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

STC344047_2009 Item# 117505

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