I enjoyed tasting Lavignone Barbera. It surprised me at the time because I often dislike Barbera. What Lavignone Barbera offered more than other wines is depth. It has the typical rich fruit. But it is savoury and mineral too. It has a tannic backbone too. It is a Barbera that I could drink and then go back for another glass. I’d love this with a rabbit pie in a rich sauce. Drink Lavignone Barbera from now and over the next couple of years. Lavignone is the name of a farmhouse on the property from the 1700s.
Pico Maccario has an unusually large vineyard. One site of seventy hectares is a rarity in Piedmont. Barbera is 60 ha of this land. Two Brothers run the estate created by their grandfather.
Wine Review for Lavignone Barbera
90 points Wine Spectator
Graphite and spice aromas give way to blackberry, pomegranate and fruitcake flavors. A bit rustic now, but ends with a beam of pure blackberry. Drink now through 2022.
Known as one of the greatest wine regions in the world, its name means the ‘foot of the mountain’. Piedmont located in the North-Western reach of Italy. There are a lot of parallels drawn between the best wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco) and the wines of Burgundy. The region neighbours France and Switzerland with its border defined by the Alps to the north and west and Apennines to the south. These natural defences were used to keep the Ligurians safe from Roman invasions. Luckily it didn’t work forever, as we may not have the wines that we cherish today.
This Piedmont town is the home of the great Moscato, wonderful Barbera, Dolcetto and of course Nebbiolo. The wines tend to be a bit more obvious and fuller than the cross-town rival Alba. And don’t tend to get as much attention sadly.
Nebbiolo is the king but approximately half of the red wine made in Piedmont is made from Barbera. Look for currants and blackberries, liquorice and oak characters.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North, and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that, volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.