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Marcarini Moscato d'Asti 1999

Muscat from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Marcarini

    Marcarini

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    Marcarini, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    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.

    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.

    Singularly aromatic, often sweet, and always enjoyable, Muscat never takes itself too seriously. Muscat is actually an umbrella name for a diverse set of grapes, some of which are genetically related while others are not. The two most important versions are Muscat blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria, the former being of considerably higher quality. Both are grown throughout the world and can be made in a wide range of styles, from dry and aromatic wines to sweet and richly perfumed dessert wines. It is well known in Italy's Piedmont region for Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sparkling semi-sweet wine that is refreshing and low in alcohol.

    In the Glass

    Muscat wines possess intense aromatics of peaches, rose petals, geranium, orange blossom, and lychee, often with a hint of sweet spice, and always with a uniquely grapey character that is uncommon in other wines.

    Perfect Pairings

    Thanks to its naturally low alcohol levels, Muscat is a perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine, especially when the wine has a little bit of residual sugar. Off-dry Muscat can work well with lighter desserts like key lime pie and lemon meringue, while fully sweet Muscat-based dessert wines are enjoyable after dinner with an assortment of cheeses.

    Sommelier Secret

    Muscat is one of the oldest known grape varieties, dating as far back as the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing one of the Muscat varieties.

    CLW818627_1999 Item# 17468