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Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera D'Asti 2011

Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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Winemaker Notes

A true Barbera specialist, the family making this lush red wines prides themselves on their generations worth of experience cultivating their pristine vineyards in the heart of Piedmont in Northwestern Italy, in the shadow of Mont Blanc. With an intense purple hue, this wine bursts with a juicy, mouthwatering bouquet of plum and cherry with hints of baking spice. Silky on the palate, finishing in ripe, velvety, sweet fruits, this wine will pair perfectly with any meal, from antipasti, to pizza, to pasta, to grilled meats. A rich, satisfying glass sure to please any crowd, you'll be hard pressed to drink just one glass!

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator

This shows fine depth and balance, revealing black cherry and blackberry notes on a supple texture. Hints of citrus and bitter almond appear on the lingering finish. Smart Buy.

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Pico Maccario

Pico Maccario

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Pico Maccario, , Italy
Pico Maccario
Pico Maccario, a dedicated Barbera specialist, is found on the hills of Mombaruzzo in the Asti DOCG at an average altitude of 180 meters. Comprising one single, contiguous parcel, their vineyard covers 70 hectares and is the largest solely-owned vineyard in Piedmont. Within the 70 hectares, there are some 315,000 vines capped at the end of each row by one of the approximately 4,500 red rose bushes on the property. It is no surprise that the rose is part of the winery's emblem. Out of the 70 hectares, 55 are planted to Barbera.

The estate boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including stainless-steel tanks that have computerized controls for monitoring temperature and all stages of fermentation. The soils of Mombaruzzo are primarily clay, which impart full body and a silky texture to the wines. Both wines are aged exclusively in stainless-steel tanks to preserve the freshest fruit flavors. The name of the entry-level Barbera, Berro, means "I will drink," and refers to the wine's easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing purity. Lavignone is named after one of the 18th-century farmhouses located on the property. Its velvety mouthfeel and bright cherry and blueberry flavors come at a remarkably advantageous price point, one rarely seen for Barbera of this quality in this day and age, offering great value.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

GECPICOBARB_2011 Item# 120327

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