Wednesday, May 03, 2006

2001 Barbera D'Asti Guasti Clemente e figli

As I have mentioned earlier I am getting into Italian wines more and more. In Italy there are two BIG regions for wine, especially Red Wine. Their is the world of Tuscany which produces the so called 'Super Tuscans' along with Chianti, all made primarily with the grape Sangiovese. In the northern region of Italy you also have the Piedmont region which produces mostly Nebbiolo based wines. Along with Nebbiolo however is the Barbera grape. Approximately 15 times MORE Barbera than Nebbiolo is actually grown with in the Piedmont region. Within the Piedmont region one of the best places to get Barbera is where it is thought to have Originated....Asti. In Asti, Barrique aging, or aging is small French Oak barrels, for many years is popular.
The Grape: Barbera is popular with growers due to its vigor and reliability in a wide variety of soils. The grape itself is high in acid, but low in tannins which create wines of deep purplish black in their youth that tend to brown in their old age. The oak that most vintners use helps stabilize the color. Barbera can make wines that range from racy and tart to spicy and rich.
The Winery: Guasti Clemente e Figli is a small winery that produces about 1200 hectolictres of wine. They are located in Nizza Monferrato a town in the province of Asti. They are family owned and family run.
The Wine: Nice bright red in the glass, not the typical deep dark purple. Nice dose of acidity in the nose with some earth, mustiness and earthiness, with hints of BRIGHT red fruit. In the mouth its much thicker than I expected, with nice levels of acidity, fruit, soil, tartness and hints of oaky vanillan from the barrel aging.
A really nice wine to go with food, something I always appreciate. I'd grade it an A-.

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