Tasting Barbera d'Asti

Updated: Aug 31, 2018


Barbera is a grape used to produce dry red wines in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. Piedmont is one of the coldest regions of Italy, and as a result, Barbera grapes grown there often produce wine with a medium plus acidity, a low tannin content, and a medium body.


Barbera d'Asti, ("d'Asti" because it is from the village of Asti) is usually aged in stainless steel tanks or massive oak casks. For this cuvee "Tre Vigne" 2016, Vietti did both. They used stainless steel tanks for cold maceration and alcoholic fermentation and then moved the wine to old oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and maturation.


Due to their previous usage old barrels do not diffuse many aromatic tannins. Tannins contained in the barrels' wood are those responsible for the oaky flavors you can get in wine. Here you don't get a lot those classic sweet spicey aromatics except for maybe a tiny hint of vanilla. That is why the OAKY criteria on the profile above is reduced to 1.


Usually tannins are considered low in Barbera wines. However, here the winemaker did a cold maceration processing of the grapes before fermentation: a way to extract more color, more tannins and more flavors from the grapes. You can feel the extraction, as the tannin structure is definitely present. That is why TANNIC criteria is set on 4.


Barbera produces light wines but with some concentrated ripe fruit flavors. Here you taste black olives, dark cherries and plums flavors.


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