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Il Cascinone Barbera d'Asti 2014

Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Deep, intense ruby red, with purple highlights. Vibrant aromas of black cherries and prunes, with toasty undertones and a touch of mint. Dry with well-balanced acidity, and fruit well integrated into a creamy rich nutty texture, this wine has developed with great structure and lingers.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Il Cascinone

    Il Cascinone

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    Il Cascinone, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    Acquired in 1998, Il Cascinone, located in Monferrato, consisted of a winery dating back to 1920 which was carefully restored under the new ownership. The 150 hectare property contains 50 hectares of vineyards. Like the winery, the vineyards were restored in order to cultivate several varietals, including Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These revitalized vineyards enjoy a southwest orientation and are harvested by hand to ensure a quality selection of the final grapes.

    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.

    VIYITARALBAR7514_2014 Item# 164880