Castello di Gabiano - Barbera D'Asti 'Adornes Superiore' 2013 ~ Piedmont, Italy
Wine Enthusiast rater
James Suckling favourite
Wine Enthusiast - "This dense, savoury wine has tobacco, black-skinned berry and red plum aromas and licorice, blackberry jam and black pepper flavours. Fine-grained tannins provide support." (2011 Vintage)
The Winemaker - "Tobacco, dark berry and new leather aromas take shape in the glass. The structured, juicy palate offers blackberry jam, licorice and white pepper alongside polished tannins. Concentrated and balanced... with a long finish. This wine can be a lovely match with grilled red meats, roasted meats, wild fowl and aged cheese." (2011 Vintage)
The Castello di Gabiano vineyard and winery, situated in the Piedmont Region of the northwest of Italy, boasts more than a century of history. In the 8th century, a document signed by Carlo Magno indicated the presence of a “Cortem magnam nomina Gabianam,” proving the land has been owned by the Gabiano family since that time. Today, Giacomo Cattaneo Adorno, the last Marquis of Gabiano, and his wife Emanuela are personally involved in the winery.
Castello di Gabiano vineyards are planted on the highest fields with exposure at noon. The chalky clay soil enhances the wines' unique terroir. Two different prunings are made throughout the year: the first one in July, which equalizes the bunches, the second one in August, aims to achieve the maximum concentration and quality. Harvest in small cases with an accurate selection of the best grapes. Fermentation with native yeast in cement tanks and oak vats. Many délestages and pumping over ensures a rich extraction with the calcareous clay soils giving great structure and complexity to this wine. The wine is finished in barrels for 18 months and in bottle for 12 months.
Barbera d’Asti is one of the most famous wines from the Piedmont region of north-western Italy. It became a DOC in 1970 and was upgraded to its DOCG classification in 2008, adding to Piedmont's impressive haul of DOCG titles (the highest level of Italian wine classification). The Barbera d'Asti title covers the area around the town of Asti, and exclusively focuses on red wines made from Barbera. Softer and more approachable in its youth than the Nebbiolo used to make Piedmont's most prestigious wines, Barbera is a firm favourite among winemakers and consumers. It is also the region's most widely planted red-wine variety.
The Asti area is located in the hilly areas of the Asti and Alessandria provinces in eastern Piedmont, where the region shares its borders with Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. The vineyards which produce Barbera d'Asti wine are typically situated on hilly terrain, ranging in altitude anywhere from 300ft to 1000ft (90m to 305m). They span a relatively large area that adjoins the production area of Barbera d’Alba to the north-east.
According to DOC regulations, any Barbera d'Asti wine must consist of at least 85% Barbera. The remaining 15% can comprise Freisa, Grignolino and Dolcetto. The bottles must not be released for sale before 1 March in the year after harvest and must achieve a minimum final alcohol level of at least 11.5% alcohol by volume. There is also a Superiore designation which requires a minimum of 12 months of ageing, with at least six months of this time spent in barrel.
Barbera d'Asti is a particularly good ageing wine, with the potential to reward cellaring for up to eight years. At its best it is a rich, tangy, full-bodied wine characterized by an intense ruby-red color which graduates towards garnet red with age. It is a full-bodied wine whose flavors become more balanced and appealing as it matures.