The English Winemaker. Barbera Piemonte DOP
Barbera Piemonte DOP
Typical fresh, damson and red berry fruit, sour black cherry with a lovely savoury element which lifts the wine. A lovely purity, weight and vigour. 13%
The fruit was sourced entirely from Villa Giada’s ‘La Quercia’ vineyard, a fine site (cru) at 350m facing southwest. It is a classic position for great Barbera fruit as the top soils are rich in chalk and marl, the vines are planted at a density of 4800 plants per hectare using a Guyot training system.
771 bottles made
The summer was unusual (nothing unusual there!). What really marked it out were the periods of almost monsoon-like weather which the vines took advantage of, recording record-breaking growth spurts. This is not a good thing. The solution was a good haircut; usually Andrea tops* the vines once a year, but in 2018 he had to go around 4 times. By good fortune the period coming into harvest saw the weather dry, the fruit came very ripe and completely clean (disease free) and the bunches needed almost no sorting.
Matt had access to two of Andrea’s tonneaux (500 litre oak barrels). He removed the end from each prepared them for the fruit. Each was filled with a quarter ‘whole-bunch’, and the balance de-stemmed, Barbera. The fermentation started ‘naturally’ and the must simultaneously went through both alcoholic fermentation and malolactic conversion. The floating cap of grape skins was plunged by hand and when the sugars had been used, the barrels were sealed and the wine kept on skins for 47 days after which it was pressed using an old-fashioned basket-press. The wine rested over the winter in a steel tank and was bottled on 30th January un-fined and unfiltered with no added sulphur (28 ppm naturally occurring).
*pruning the sky-bound tendrils of the vine.