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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 red fruit, 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, but it is also planted in a few nearby Italian provinces and remains one of the most widely planted varieties in the country. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and some southern hemisphere wine regions.

    In the Glass

    Barbera is typically marked by flavors of red cherry, raspberry or blackberry and backed by a signature zingy acidity. Warmer sites produce Barberas with intensely ripe fruit and complex notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise and nutmeg. Cooler sites will produce a lighter Barbera with more finesse and intriguing notes of cranberry, graphite, smoke, lavender and violet.

    Perfect Pairings

    Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, 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

    In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound, at least in Piedmont. In fact, many Piemontese producers today still make a deliciously pure, fruity and unoaked version, intended for earlier consumption. The wine world didn't realize Barbera's potential until the work of Giacomo Bologna in Asti in the 1960s. His debut of the barrique-aged Barbera called Bricco dell’Uccellone revealed this grape's true potential. Many of the better bottlings of Piemontese Barbera can age gracefully for 10-15 years or more.

    SBE103611_2015 Item# 326808