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M. Marengo Barbera d'Alba Pugnane 2015

Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Color is intense ruby red. On the nose, fruity, red fruit.

Flavors are full-bodied, warm, supple, fruity.

Pair with red meat, meat dishes in general.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
he 2015 Barbera d'Alba Vigna Pugnane shows the bounty of the 2015 vintage. This was a beautiful year for all grapes in the Langhe, including Barbera and Nebbiolo. The Pugnane vineyard is located in Castiglione Falletto and is only planted to Barbera. The vines took root in 2003, and the first commercial vintage was released in 2005. This wine sees up to ten months in barrel, of which only 20% is new oak. This is a delightful expression with a round and supple mouthfeel followed by density and richness. That vinous texture is carefully studied in terms of its delivery: It leaves an impact, for sure, but it never feels heavy. In fact, the grape's natural acidity helps to keep the palate refreshed and light.
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M. Marengo

M. Marengo

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M. Marengo, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Marengo is one of the smallest estates in La Morra, but Marco Marengo has no inferiority complex. Marengo is privileged to be among the many more famous names who own vineyards in the “Brunate” cru, an immaculately positioned parcel of land that is considered to be one of the grand crus of the Langhe. The estate makes tiny quantities of modern-style Barolo from old vines in their tiny cellar on La Morra’s main street; in great years, these particularly well-balanced, ample, intense, tannic wines hint at truffles; they are perfectly rich and complete Baroli. 1999 is the third release of the Barolo "Bricco Viole", from a tiny cru in the Barolo township named for the violets that bloom there in springtime; the 1998 was rated 92 pts by the Wine Spectator. Elio Altare once told Marco that Marengo's vineyards were the "finest he had ever seen!" The slopes around Brunate are also particularly noted for superb Dolcetto

An historic village situated right in between the famous regions of Barolo and Barbaresco, Alba is also the name for the larger wine region surrounding the village.

In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.

Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.

Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.

Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.

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 un-oaked—abound, at least in Piedmont. In fact, many Piemontese producers today still make a deliciously pure, fruity and un-oaked 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.

CWMMO2515_2015 Item# 340411