Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta Grignolino d'Asti 2018
Bright ruby red, with age tending towards garnet red. Notes of cranberry, strawberries and roses with a finish of spice reminiscent of autumn. Dry and light-bodied with a crisp, fresh finish. More roses prominent spice. Pleasantly savory with a bright acidity. Balanced tannins.
The Marchesi Incisa della Rochetta Family has roots over 1000 years in Piemonte area. Involved in wine growing and vineyards for the last several centuries, their first cousins famously moved down the road to Tuscany to found and promote Sassacaia wines. The Piemonte clan stayed true to the roots of producing indigenous grapes of Barbera, Grignolino, Moscato d'Asti and Arneis, as well as a rich history with International varietals Pinot Noir & Merlot. Leopoldo Incisa was one of the first wine scientists in the late 1850’s who brought Pinot Noir vines from Burgundy to Piedmont and began to cultivate them on the hillside of his Rocchetta Tanaro vineyards.
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.
Grignolino actually contains a convincing amount of structure and phenolic complexity despite its transparent, strawberry hue. This is because the Grignolino berry holds three seeds instead of the usual two, contributing more tannins when crushed. It is native to the Monferrato hills with a growing region that overlaps with the Asti DOCG. Somm Secret—Until the end of the 1700’s, Grignolino was used for medicinal purposes because of its high tannin content, which acts as an antiseptic.