Wine Reviews

Barbacarlo 1996, Azienda Agricola Barbacarlo

Dear readers,

Today we’re talking about the Barbacarlo: a wine with a very distinct nature.

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We are in Oltrepò, just a few minutes walk from Pavia, exactly on the hills of Broni, particularly suitable for producing high quality wines. Even Napoleon knew that: in fact, he appreciated wine from these hills.
The actual name, Barbacarlo, was born later in 1886, when the great grandfather of Lino Maga bequeathed the hills to his grandchildren: the uncle Carlo had the title of “Barba”, so, in his honor, the grandchildren called that territory Barbacarlo.

The Barbacarlo consists of three grapes, a blend quite variable in percentage from vintage to vintage: Uva rara, Croatina and Barbera.
I was lucky enough to find on the internet a 1996 vintage bottle and I was very happy to try its resistance to aging: still, I’m enraptured by the complexity of the evolution of this masterpiece.
The 1996 vintage is slightly sparkling, with a great freshness and flavor: a 1996 vintage wine with this kind of freshness is very difficult to find.

At the nose, aromas of vinyl glue, ripe red fruits, compote of candied fruits, nutmeg, slightly earthy, camphor, spices and a hint of mild green bell pepper.

On the palate, this wine is rounded, with a good length, persistence and elegance. The tannin is very well educated.

I recommend to try it alone, without pairing food, to better understand its complexity and harmony; but if you really want to enjoy it with food, I recommend you to pair it with aged and hard cheese, game, braised meat and stew.

What a wine, guys!

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Wine Reviews

Vin de la Sabla, Les Crétes

Good Morning!

Today we talk about a very interesting Italian wine from Aosta Valley, the “Vin de Sabla” by “Les Crétes”.
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This wine is produced mainly from local vine varieties, which are grown in the same area of their historical origin: it is therefore not a vine transplanted from other areas.
The native vines at the base of the Vin de Sabla are Petit Rouge (in percentage to 30%), Fumin (30%) and Mayolet (10%). The remaining 30% it’s Barbera grape.
Petit Rouge is one of the most used and valuable Aosta Valley native grape: it gives the wine a purplish red color, tending to garnet, intense and fruity perfumes and a good softness on the palate.
Fumin is the last native grape enhanced recently in the Aosta Valley: it gives the wine purple hues, slightly herbaceous aromas and, if aged, hints of earth and leather.
The Mayolet is a native Aosta Valley vine mainly used to “blend” other varieties: it brings finesse, smoothness and alcohol to the wine. (editor’s note: The “blend” is a mixture of different wines by grape variety, provenance or age)

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The Vin de Sabla by Les Crétes, purplish in color, comes with a good consistency and structure.
It’s a young wine with intense aromas of fresh fruits, strawberry, cherry and red and black berries.
On the palate this wine is rounded and fruity, pleasant in pairing with meats, medium-aged cheeses and meat dishes.

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