I am pleased and excited to announce the return of Borgo Moncalvo's sensational, single vineyard, old-vine, and certified organic Barbera. The new release is equally impressive to previous vintages, and you will not find a better Barbera for the money.....anywhere!
This tiny, family-run, certified organic estate is located in the hills above Asti, and their Barbera vines are 70+ years old. These old, low-yielding vines produce a wine with full and ripe flavors, yet this one stays fresh and light on its feet. My pick for the top Barbera value in the world, this will appeal to a wide variety of palates.
2019 Borgo Moncalvo Barbera d’Asti Superiore
“Rich, plump, and concentrated with tremendous purity of fruit. This is a wine for all palates!" - Josh Spurling - 93 points
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Brothers Andrea and Luca Elegir farm some of the oldest Barbera vines in the Piemonte with their wives, their parents, and one hired worker. They care deeply for their land, and that is evidenced by their organic certification and the fact they power their entire estate with solar panels.
In a good year, the Elegirs will make 20,000 bottles (about 1,700 cases) of wine, and they make 6 different wines. This is a family committed to producing a high-quality regional product in a setting that allows space for the natural world to coexist. Their work is based on experience, intuition, and tradition, and they crafted an incredible wine in the warm and sunny 2019 vintage.
Their Barbera vineyard is a site to behold — click here for some great shots of the family and their land. We’re talking super steep and high elevation vineyards here folks. When you factor in those old vines, you have the makings of a great bottle of wine. In addition, the Lucas severely thin their vines, further lowering yields and intensifying flavors.
Fermented in stainless steel, the wine is then aged in older oak barrels for 12 months, thus the Superiore designation. Many folks ask me what older or neutral oak barrels are and what they do for a wine. It's simple, oak enhances wine in two major ways. With newer barrels, the oak will add aromas and flavors of toast, spice, and smoke. Oak is also ever-so-slightly porous, allowing tiny bits of oxygen to interact with the wine, mellowing it out a bit. That is exactly what aging in neutral oak does. It does not add flavors, but it helps the wine come together, soften, come into harmony.
The 2019 version of this wine has certainly “come together.” Right when I poured it, I knew I was going to buy big on this one. The color is deep — not fully opaque, but pretty darned close. The bouquet is one I usually associate with a Barbera from Alba, not Asti. It’s much darker-fruited and intense with perfumed notes of violet, plum, and dark cherry. The palate is equally attractive with a nice mix of red and dark berry flavors, a hint of spice, and a subtle floral quality. Medium to full bodied, fine-grained, and fresh, this is going to make a lot of folks happy.
Just 125 cases were produced for the vintage and I claimed 28 for Table Wine. This would be awesome with everything from a bison burger with blue cheese and caramelized onions to a mushroom risotto. The natural acidity of Barbera makes it a wonderful “food wine.” Trust me though, I’ll be drinking plenty of this one without food too. It goes down super easy.
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