Marcarini Barbera d'Alba Ciabot Camerano 2010
Delicious with braised beef, game and aged cheese.
Luisa & Manuel Marchetti have been in charge of Luisa's family winery since 1990, with Manuel responsible for sales & promotions, Luisa orchestrating the wines with consultant oenologist Armando Cordero. Founded by Luisa's great-great-great-grandfather, the estate was one of the very first in the area to designate single vineyards on its labels as early as 1950. The property covers 62 acres, 42 of which are under vine. In fact, one of Marcarini's superb, historical crus is 150-year-old Boschi di Berri, whose Dolcetto vines are among the oldest in Italy, having survived Phylloxera and maintained indigenous rootstock. The Marchettis' varietal map (except the Shiraz) is almost exclusively native to the Langhe hills. The Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo are grown within the estate's original nucleus, high on the rolling terroir of La Morra: two celebrated, contiguous crus, Brunate and La Serra. The building itself (adjoining a medieval tower) goes back to the 1700s: the cool, ancient underground cellars provide an ideal environment for the wines’ classic élevage. The exceptional vineyards – all estate-owned – are the true heart of the winery. The superb locations, steepness of the slopes and nature of the terrain, exposure to the sunlight, exceptional microclimate, are not only conducive to top wines, but to non-aggressive, natural vineyard management.
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 and approachable, 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; those from Asti and Alba garner the most praise. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in some New World regions. Somm Secret—In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound and in fact most Piedmontese producers today produce both styles.