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Wines included in a case
Elio Altare Langhe Larigi 2013
In 1948 the Altare family purchased a farm in what is now the prized Barolo sub-region of La Morra which boasted 5 hectares of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto vineyards along with flourishing orchards. In the 1970s the challenging economic climate in Italy sent Elio Altare abroad in search of inspiration from the winemakers of Burgundy. He returned full of ideas to revitalise the estate such as using small oak barrels for ageing the wines and organic cultivation in the vineyards.
In 2016 Elio handed over the reins to his daughter, Silvia, whose passion and hard work has helped to cement the estate’s status as one of the most exciting producers in the Piedmont. The family’s Langhe Larigi is a soft yet intensely-flavoured wine which is crafted in limited quantities from Barbera vines planted in 1948.
On the nose there are rich aromas of cassis, blackberries, and dark plums while the palate offers crushed wild berry flavours and hints of dried herbs. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 18 months which softens the structure and adds attractive sweet spice and vanilla notes. This is an ideal red wine to drink alongside red meat or tomato-based pasta dishes and it can also be cellared for another five years or so.
Azelia Punta Barbera D'Abla 2015
This lively and vibrant Barbera is characterised by a mouth-watering freshness which lifts the intense dark fruit flavours and adds a distinctive touch of elegance and grace. On the nose there is an abundance of cassis, black cherry, and ripe plum aromas along with hints of wild herbs and baked earth while the palate offers rich berry flavours, a medium body and smooth tannins.
The grapes for this wine are sourced from 60 year old vines planted on a 0.9 hectare single vineyard plot in the Barolo heartland of Castiglione Falletto. The combination of calcareous and clay soils helps to create a complex wine which offers both intensity of flavour and mouthwatering freshness. The grapes are vinified using wild yeasts and then aged in small barrels for at least 14 months.
In recent years Azelia has gained a reputation as one of the leading estates in Barolo thanks to the hard work of owner Luigi Scavino whose family have been making wines here for generations. The estate’s vineyards are all worked manually and farmed organically, while in the winery Luigi prefers to use a light touch of oak with traditional large oak botti to allow the character of the grape variety to shine through in the finished wines.
Scarpa La Bogliona Barbera d'Asti 2011
This iconic single vineyard Barbera d’Asti is the wine that first established Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa’s reputation for masterful, matured Barbera in the 1960s. The venerable estate has been making wine in the Monferrato hills since 1854, but since the arrival of Mario Pesce half a century ago Scarpa is now known all over the world for its elegant, characterful Piemontese wines.
Barbera is one of Scarpa’s specialisms and the estate makes serious, age-worthy examples which remind of the region’s stunning Barolo and Barbaresco wines. La Bogliona is known as “the daughter of sand” thanks to the composition of the vineyard which is 40% sand and offers excellent drainage for the vines.
Following the harvest the Barbera grapes selected for this wine are fermented in traditional large conical wooden vats. The new wine is then transferred to 2000 to 10,000 litre casks for up to three years before being aged for another couple of years in the bottle. The result is a muscular, well-structured Barbera which displays intricate layers of dark fruit, sweet spices, and baked earth notes. The power of this wine makes it an ideal candidate for extended cellar ageing over the next decade or so.
Cordero di Montezemolo Barbera d ́Alba 2018
Cordero di Montezemolo can trace its history back 19 generations to 1340 and remains family-run to this day. Giovanni Cordero di Montezemolo and his children Elena and Alberto head up the estate today, overseeing some 51 hectares of top vineyards in Barolo and nearby Roero. The winery is based in Monfalletto close to the stunning hilltop town of La Morra which is considered one of Barolo’s finest crus.
The family’s vibrant Barbera d’Asti is made in a classic style from top quality sourced from their estate vineyards in Lamorrese and Roero. The plots occupy a range of altitudes and soil types which helps to add complexity to the finished wine. The grapes are typically harvested in late September at optimal maturity and are fermented in stainless steel tanks. Maturation then takes place in French and Slavonian oak casks for 7-8 months before bottling.
Soft red cherry and hints of spice and cacao define the nose while the palate offers a bright acidity, medium body and smooth tannins. The bold fruit flavours linger on the tongue, ending in a clean, pure finish. The vibrant flavour profile makes this a great match for charcuterie, creamy cheeses, or tomato-based fresh pasta dishes.
Marchesi di Gresy Barbera d'Asti Monte Colombo 2013
Truly one of Piedmont’s hidden secrets, Marchesi di Gresy is one of the region’s top producers, crafting elegant and refined reds which are frequently said to rival those made by their neighbour, Angelo Gaja. Owned by the di Grésy family since 1797, the property was run as a farm and the grapes sold off to local winemakers right up to the 1970s. It was then that Alberto di Grésy began to bottle his own wines, insisting on an exceptional attention to detail and quality in both the vineyard and winery.
This powerful Barbera d’Asti is sourced from a prime south-facing vineyards in the commune of Cassine which were left abandoned for many years before the di Grésy family planted them in 1998. The grapes are carefully harvested and sorted and the must fermented in stainless steel tanks before the young wine undergoes 18 months of ageing in French oak barrels. Before release the wine is also aged for 6 months in the bottle.
Bright red berry, sour cherry and subtle spiced notes characterise the nose while the palate offers a full body, silky smooth texture and vibrant streak of acidity which provides balance to the rich, robust dark fruit flavours.
Ciabot Berton Barbera Bricco San Biagio 2017
Decant one hour before serving.
This luscious Barbera delights the eye with a vibrant ruby red hue and seduces the senses with jammy plums, red cherries and raspberry aromas and flavours. The grapes for this wine all come from the Bricco San Biagio hill where Ciabot Berton own a small vineyard planted with 60 year old Barbera vines. The light sandy soils here help create floral, elegant wines which rank among the region’s best Barberas. Thanks to the vibrant freshness and light oaky touch from the ageing in casks, this is a perfect match for pasta served with rich meaty sauces.
Located in the small village of La Morra which is famed for its elegant, finely-structured Barolo wines, the Ciabot Berton winery has built a strong reputation for carefully-made, deeply expressive reds. The family-run estate is cared for by enologist Marco Oberto and his agronomist sister Paola who took over from their father Luigi in the 1990s.
Even by Italian standards the Obertos have a deep connection with the land. A La Morra land register dating from 1200 mentions the family name, while references to the Obertos’ involvement in grape growing start appear from 1800. Today Marco and Paola enjoy making refined single vineyard wines, carefully tailoring their approach to get the best from each of their six vineyards. They also continue to use traditional winemaking techniques like long macerations and extended ageing in large Slovenian oak casks as well as practicing organic viticulture.