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Piemonte (Piedmont in English), in the foothills of the Alps in the north west of Italy, is home to the countries finest full-bodied red wines. Vineyards are planted high on steeply sloped ridges to catch maximum afternoon sunlight in this very cool, high altitude region.

The greatest wines of the region are made from the extremely long lived Nebbiolo, grown within the iconic appellations of Barolo and Barbaresco. Barbera however is the most widely planted and popular variety of the region, owing to its fruit-driven expressiveness and youthful approachability. Whilst the majority of the region’s vineyard owners still sell their fruit to large wineries and co-operatives, an increasing number are opting to make small amounts of wine themselves, selling directly under their own label such as Maretti.

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on edge. The nose is initially light and restrained, but builds in volume and presence showing dark red and black berry fruits with subtle layers of earth, leather and tar, showing the influence of Nebbiolo. Medium-full bodied, the fruit flavours of earthy, tarry and leather red and black fruits are ethereal and gently grow to fill the palate. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with good acid liveliness, and fine, grainy tannins complete the palate. This has balance, tension and poise, and the wine flows with good drive and energy to a long finish. This is an elegant, ethereal blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo with balance and fresh poise. Match with roasted game meat and hard cheeses over the next 4-5 years. 70% Barbera and 30% Nebbiolo from the Langhe district, Piedmont, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 8 months in small French and large Slavonian oak, blended and aged a further 4 months in large oak casks. 17.0/20; Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Everyone, but everyone, just loves the packaging on this wine. It’s 70% Barbera with Nebbiolo bringing up the rear. Juicy red fruits, plenty of spice, ginger biscuit, touch of saddle leather. Medium bodied, fleshy tannin, ample fruit, balanced acidity and a dry finish tinted with cherry pip and dried herb. So tasty. Absolutely ready to go now. Don’t cellar. Rated : 90 Points Tasted : Aug14 Alcohol : 13.5% Price : $22 Closure : Diam Drink : 2014 - 2016 Gary Walsh; The Wine Front


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