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Guido Berta Barbera d'Asti 2015

Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Bright on the nose, with plenty of floral and ripe strawberry aromas. The fresh and focused palate features notes of juicy fruit and summer berries with clean acidity and a subtle herbal finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Guido Berta

    Guido Berta

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    Guido Berta, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    Cascina Guido Berta is ideally situated in the midst of what is considered “The Golden Triangle” of the Asti appellation, in the town of San Marzano Oliveto in Piedmont, well known for its fabulous Barbera wines, as well as the charming Moscato d’Asti. Guido Berta’s parents chose to return to an agricultural existence and bought the 25-hectare farm in order to grow grapes. In 1997, after growing up on the property, Guido took over direction of the estate, establishing his cellar where he would start to make his own wines. With vines averaging 35 years old, he grows mostly Barbera and Moscato, with small plantations of Nebbiolo and Chardonnay.

    Now working out of a freshly-minted winemaking cellar on the property, Guido Berta works according to the sustainable agriculture dictates of the lotta integrata, however he has already started the process of converting all his vineyards to organic farming. Already, one can see the results of this natural agriculture in the vigor of his vines and the lush carpet of fertile grasses and legumes between rows. While more labor intensive and risk-prone, Guido feels strongly that the vineyards must be pure, given that he himself is working in them every day, not to mention his young children.

    A precious, family-owned and -run Monferrato estate, producing artisanal, well-priced wines from the classic varieties of this storied region: Cascina Guido Berta.

    Recognized as the source of the best Barbera in all of Italy, Asti is a province (as well as major city) in Piedmont, consisting of a gentle, rolling landscape with vineyards, farmland and forests alternating throughout.

    Barbera d’Asti can be made in an array of styles from relatively straightforward, fruity and ready for consumption early, to the more concentrated, oak aged version with an ability to cellar impressively for 10-15 years and beyond. Some of the very best sites for Barbera in Asti are concentrated in the subzone of Nizza Monferrato. Other red varieties grown here include Freisa, Grignolino, and Dolcetto, which can be bottled varietally or blended into Barbera.

    Historically consumers commonly associated the Asti region with Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti, both playful, aromatic, sparkling wines made from the Muscat grape. Asti Spumante is less sweet, fully fizzy and more alcoholic (yet still clocking in at only around 9% alcohol) while Moscato d’Asti is sweeter, gently sparkling (“frizzante”) and closer to 5 or 6% alcohol. Each is produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh and fruity flavors of the grape, often including peach, apricot, lychee and rose petal. Asti is also the spot for the pink-hued Brachetto d'Acqui, a slightly sparkling wine ready to charm with its raspberry and rose flavors and aromas.

    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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    SBE103611_2015 Item# 326808