Located in the North west of Italy, Piemonte literally means ""the foot of the mountains"". Piedmont is often described as the Burgundy of Italy, a reputation due to its many small-scale, family wineries and a focus on quality which sometimes borders on obsession. What Burgundy does with Pinot Noir, Piedmont does with Nebbiolo. Barolo and Barbaresco are the most famous wines of the region, but the dark-skinned Barbera is the workhorse red grape and the white Moscato makes oceans of inexpensive, gulpable Asti Spumante, Piemonte's greatest export volume-wise.Cuisine in Piemonte reflects its more northern climate, with Bagna Cauda (olive oil-based anchovy and garlic fondue), Brasato al Barolo (beef cooked in red wine) and Agnolotti (small ravioli stuffed with veal) providing comfort and warmth. In Fall, the pungent white truffles of Alba are shaved over pasta, eggs and risotto to pair with an ethereal Barolo.
Move over Nebbiolo! In most premium Piemonte zones, celebrated reds are obtained by planting Nebbiolo in the best vineyards. But in Monferrato, it has been determined that the grape which responds best to the terroir is Barbera. And the area within Monferrato recognized for producing the most impressive red is Barbera d’Asti DOCG, with three crus receiving the highest recognition… one of these is NIZZA. Nizza is known to have the warmest sites in the hilly region of Monferrato, accounting for its ability to maximize ripeness and fruit concentration, elevating Barbera to new heights.
What a great chance to taste a superior example of the “Croatina” varietal, seldom seen on this side of the ocean. The Cisterna d’Asti DOC is a relatively new DOC, created in 2002 to elevate and highlight the significance of this varietal separate from the more dominant Barbera d’Asti common in the region. The wines must be made from at least 80% of the Croatina varietal.
A deep ruby red colour with intense youthful aromas of plum, black licorice and a hint of cedar. The palate is dry with fairly high acidity that is well-balanced by intense fruity flavours. The finish is medium in length with an evident earthiness.
Light garnet colour with a very perfumed nose of black cherry, stewed strawberries, roses, black licorice and a hint of cedar. The palate is dry, medium bodied with firm tannins and well-balanced acidity. The finish is quite long with lingering notes of black licorice.
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