Barbera D'Alba Vineyard Cannubi Muscatel Return to Brezza
This wine is a total anomaly, land in the Cannubi vineyard is so expensive that producers, large and small alike, have ripped up the lesser valued varieties such as dolcetto and barbera in favor of nebbiolo, which can be bottled as Barolo, a wine that lends a far better return. The Brezza family has retained their 45 year old barbera vines in the sub-section of the Cannubi vineyard known Muscatel - so named for it was once planted to the white variety Muscatel, the vines were subsequently grafted over to nebbiolo and barbera. This wine gives the drinker an idea of the level of quality barbera could attain if producers didn't always plant nebbiolo in their best locations. The wine retains all the characteristics of the cherished site. An astonishingly complex barbera, fully scented with great length.
Location: Comune of Barolo
Area: 0.8954 Ha
Exposure: South - East
Elevation: 300 m.
Soil: Clay - Silty
Soil structure: Sand 30,5%, Silt 36,8%, Clay 32,7%
Grape variety: Barbera
Trellising: Vertical canopy
Rootstocks: 420A, SO4
Training system: Traditional Guyot
Vineyard layout: 0.8m x 2.5m
Vine density: 5.000/Ha
Yield: ca.7.000 Kg/Ha
Age of vineyard: 45 years
The formation that characterizes the local area is the so-called SANT'AGATA FOSSIL MARL (TOV), formed in the open sea. Bluish-gray in colour, it is generally sandy with some conglomerate admixture. The area's unusual name seems due to the fact that before the advent of phyloxera the vineyard was planted to muscat, or even to nebbiolo grafted onto muscat vines. The fruit is known for its excellent sugar/acid balance even in dry years.
On arrival in the cellar, the grapes are immediately de-stemmed, crushed, and go into the fermentation vats, where they undergo a 7-8 day fermentation. Some lots are then given an additional 4-6 day submerged-cap maceration on the skins. Following these procedures, the wine is kept at 18oC through malolactic fermentation then given about a year's maturation is oak botti. Eight-months' bottle-ageing ensures development of the desired bouquet, after which the wine is released.
Barbera, one of Italy's greatest red wines, is undergoing at the moment a resurgence of respect among wine-lovers who perhaps tended towards diffidence in the past. The Langhe Barbera is a barrel-matured wine with great structure and excellent cellaring potential. It goes well with first courses (the area's traditional tajarin, agnolotti del plin, etc.), although its conoisseurs enjoy it with almost all dishes.