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Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera D'Asti 2012

Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    A true Barbera specialist, the family making this lush red wine 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. Pico Maccario Lavignone Barbera D'Asti is an intense ruby red color. The bouquet is intense and charming, with a wide range of aromas, including cherry, plum and red berries. Complex, with good structure, and harmonious and prolonged finish.

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    Pico Maccario

    Pico Maccario

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    Pico Maccario, Asti, Piedmont, Italy
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    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.

    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.

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

    FBR111890_2012 Item# 135922