Try three Barbera d’Asti wines this Friday at Vino!
One of Piedmont’s oldest grape varieties, Barbera is believed to have originated in the Monferrato hills. Indeed, its first formal citation appeared in a 17th century document now housed in the city hall of Nizza Monferrato. Since the 19th century, Barbera d’Asti has been coveted by some of Italy’s most renowned literary figures. Nobel Prize-winning poet and statesman Giosué Carducci spoke of “generous Barbera” and seemingly imparted his love of the variety to his pupil and replacement at the Università di Bologna, Giovanni Pascoli. More recently, tormented poet and novelist Cesare Pavese, who spent many childhood holidays in the Langhe countryside, called the wine “legendary” in one of his many letters. In his final novel, The Moon and the Bonfires, the narrator is drinking beer in a bar in America, when a man enters whom he recognizes as being from the valleys of Langhe simply by his walk. He speaks to him in dialect suggests swapping the beer for a good bottle of their local wine. A DOC since 1970, Barbera d’Asti vineyards are generally found in calcarious, clayey land in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti.
Ruleja 2001 Montegrosso
The Montegrosso winery is steeped in history: documents show that its present owners, the Motta family, have been producing wine since 1794. The company itself takes its name from the feudal Castello di Montegrosso d’Asti, built in 1134 by order of the Marquis Bonifacio del Vasto, which dominates the hilly area around Asti in Piemonte. This historical awareness is evident in the Mottas’ approach to wine-making, for it is within the castle’s old cellars that the Barbera d’Asti is allowed to amalgamate, bringing forth Ruleja‘s most marked yet delicate characteristics.
Passum 2005 Cascina Castlèt
Noted for its elegant and whimsical label designs, current Cascina Castlèt owner Mariuccia Borio describes the company’s style as “completely feminine.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, since she also acts as Piedmont’s regional delegate for the National Association of the Women of Wine. A partial passito, Borio calls Passum Cascina Castlèt’s flagship wine, believing it to be the finest representation of the company’s philosophy, whereby age-old traditions are given a thoroughly modern interpretation.
Barbera d’Asti 2007 Luca Ferraris
One of the most exciting young producers to emerge from Piemonte in recent years, the Luca Ferraris‘ winery is located in Castagnole Monferrato, a small comune in the province of Asti. Ferraris produces wines from some of the area’s lesser-known varieties, including Ruché and Grignolino. His Barbera d’Asti comes from the Vigna del Martin, a single vineyard named after the producer’s grandfather Martino.
FREE Barbera d’Asti Tasting
Friday, July 18, 5:30pm
121 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10016
For more information call (212) 725-6516 or visit our website, vinosite.com.
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese