With a history dating to the late nineteenth century, Cantine Giacomo Ascheri
has been doing things their way for some time now. On one level, this means
shying away from the commercial temptation to plant international varieties and
remaining committed to the development of long-standing, indigenous grapes. In
the case of this week’s DéClassé recommendation, this translates as a varietal
bottling of 100% Barbera sourced from their Podere di Rivalta estate between
the communes of La Morra and Verduno – situated at the center of the famed
Piemonte wine-growing region.
Bordered on three sides by the Alps, the region comes by its moniker honestly
‘at the foot of the mountains’. Apart from the featured offering of the Fantonelle
from the Barbera D’Alba DOC, the verdant valleys and plain here produce a wide
range of notable grapes and wine styles including Barolo, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and
various frothy versions of Asti! Food-wise, white Truffles, Porcini mushrooms and
the signature pasta Agnolotti provide a basis for many flavourful pairing options.
In Italy, Barbera is considered to be the quintessential ‘wine of the people’ as it’s
a staple and affordable table wine. With less commercial payoff, it is frequently
assigned to growing in less-desirable plots and as it enjoys fewer advantages of
terroir, it can sometimes be difficult to tame and bring to full maturity. Due to
very unusual though favourable swings in climate during 2011, this example is
nicely rounded and concentrated, demonstrating what’s possible with the grape.
It’s ready to be enjoyed now in a fresh, fruity state or could be allowed to become
more complex with some extra time tucked away. This is a benchmark vintage, so
budget allowing – buy lots and get some of this limited stock now!
ASCHERI FONTANELLE BARBERA D’ALBA 2011
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #982462 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Made in: Piedmont, Italy
By: Ascheri Giacomo
Release Date: August 2, 2014
Berry, plum, some restrained spice notes and a subtle touch of sweetness
characterize this deep, ruby-red wine. It’s medium-bodied with bright acidity,
so try with roasted meat and game dishes, root vegetables or strong cheeses.