Bold, rich Barbera d'Asti
Yes, the weather has recently turned rather warm… I should really say hot. It seems to me, here in the mountains, it’s still a bit early in the year for daytime temperatures to reach the upper 80s with highs in the 90s. Once again, it’s quite like we’ve been cheated out of those last cool spring days and even cooler evenings — along with the opportunity to crack another bottle or two of a big, rich and chewy red.
Over the summer months, Hammond and I will certainly be filling our glasses with crisp, snappy whites, and refreshing rosés, however, we also won’t shy away from the big chewy reds either! It’s one of the summer’s decadent pleasures to plop a big steak on the grill and crack a beefy bottle of red to accompany that perfectly charred goodness from the grill. Cascini Liuzzi “Otto” Barbera d’Asti is just the wine to have at the ready for your next grilling adventure. It’s big and rich, yet has a remarkable balance.
Barbera d'Asti Superiore
Asti - Home-base of Barbera
Barbera is a grape that can wear many hats. Wines produced from this grape range from light porch-sipping reds all the way to rich blockbuster styles that pair superbly with grilled and braised meats. The grape’s home base is the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Barbera d’Asti in the Piedmont region with top wines coming from the Nizza DOCG.
Starting in 2000, producers were allowed to make wines with the Superiore designation. To qualify, the wines must reach a minimum level of alcohol and must be aged for at least 14 months, with 6 of those months spent in oak or chestnut barrels. Some producers will age their wines further in small oak barriques in order to build additional complexity roundness.
Brothers Simone and Stefano started their journey into the world of wine when their father Otto and mother Sil bought a farmhouse with 4 hectares of prime Monferrato vineyards. The southeastern vineyard exposure and the mix of sand and light clay in the soil add up to perfect conditions for Barbera. As a tribute to their parents, their two flagship Barberas bear their names — Otto and Sil.
Another AWM find and exclusive selection
The wines made by the brothers are concentrated and rich expressions of Barbera. Vineyards are sustainably farmed with low yields at harvest producing the optimal extraction. Barolo winemaker Silvio Grasso is the consulting winemaker, providing an expert hand at the winery.
We had the pleasure of meeting and tasting with Stefano Liuzzi recently when he came to visit us at the shop. We sampled an amazing selection of his wine, however, the Otto Barbera was the standout of the tasting.
This is a bruiser of a Barbera and will stand up to any grilled or braised meats you throw at it. In the glass, the intense red ruby color opens to a nose of brambly plumb and dark berry with notes of toffee and spice. The rich expansive palate is full of dark red fruit and toasty notes of well-integrated oak. There’s ample structure that will allow for plenty of additional time in the cellar, however, the wine is supple and beautifully drinkable right now.
This one is no porch-sipper, so pair it with your favorite steak and chops from the grill.
Cascina LiuzziOtto" Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG
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