2013 La Spinetta Bionzo Barbera d'Asti

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2013 La Spinetta Bionzo Barbera d'Asti

The highlight in this range, the 2013 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is fabulous. Freshly cut flowers, mint, raspberry jam, rose petal and graphite give the 2013 much of its racy, layered personality. The Bionzo possesses exceptional energy and tension for such a big Barbera. Make no mistake about it: Bionzo is one of Piedmont's most distinctive wines. The 2013 is a fabulous edition.

Vinous Media | 94 VM

Wine Details on 2013 La Spinetta Bionzo Barbera d'Asti

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Producer Spinetta
Region Piedmont: Italian culture values the unbreakable bond we share with family and very few things showcase that connection quite like a shared meal. Therefore, it's only natural that wine would also take its place as an important cultural aspect. Fine Italian produce always goes well with a variety of dishes, and that makes these wines an incredibly popular choice among wine enthusiasts who appreciate a good get-together. The foothills of the Alps help define this region's significantly colder, continental winter climate, but during the summer, the conditions are similar to the region of Burgundy.

Flavor-wise, this region has a mind-boggling variety to offer. Not only is there a healthy selection of approved grapes to work with, but the soil often varies from estate to estate, letting every wine stand out. Expect to encounter powerful notes of rose petal flavor, spices, cherries, dried herbs, anise, and many more. Every bottle has a story to tell. Those of you with a tendency to hoard and collect fine wines will be especially intrigued, as Piedmont wines tend to mature extremely well, developing nuance and becoming more and more delicious as time goes on.
Country Italy: What are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Italy and Italian culture? There's one thing that nearly everyone tends to mention, it's the food - and where there's fine food, there is almost always fine wine. Italy is the most prolific wine region in the world, outclassing even France in terms of production quantity. Even if you're a complete wine novice, you have almost certainly heard of names such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most famous wine styles. When it comes to soil composition and other geographical characteristics, Italy offers a lot of diversity, and this never fails to show in the wines themselves.
Type of Wine Italy (Other): There are dozens of grape varietals grown in Italy so no wonder they produce such a broad range of most exquisite wines. Some of the most cultivated red varieties are Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Sangiovese, and Barbera, while Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also popular. Among whites, you're likely to find Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, or Vernaccia varietals.
Varietal Barbera: The country of Italy is a viticultural paradise, teeming with some of the world’s most popular grape varietals. Among this plethora of quality grapes is Barbera; once regarded as rather ordinary partly because it was so widely planted. In fact it was one of the most common Piemontese grapes and used as the everyday drinking wine on Italian dinner tables. However, “No grape has known such a dramatic upgrade in its fortunes and image in the last 20 years than Barbera in Piemonte, north-west Italy,” states the great Jancis Robinson.

Barbera vines have grown in the Piedmont region of Monferrato for centuries, where it is thought to have originated. It was traditionally used to make inexpensive, easy drinking everyday wines and grown and sold in bulk for blending. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was the third most planted red grape in Italy with 20, 524 hectares covering the hills of Italy. The total amount of hectares grown in Italy is diminishing; however, where the quantity of vines is lessening, the quality of wine is on the rise. Barbera is encountered in both blended wines and varietals and the latter are becoming increasingly common as Italy continues its move towards varietal labeling.

The vigorous, adaptable vines of Barbera can grow in a myriad of soils from calcareous clay to limestone to sand and can withstand hot climates. Although the majority of Barbera is planted in Piedmont, it can be found in numerous appellations of Italy, including Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Campania, Sicily and Sardinia. Because of its heat tolerance, it has also traveled beyond its native homeland, landing in South Africa, Australia, Argentina and California and is responsible for high quality wines in each of these countries. The thick-skinned, dark purple berries of Barbera grow on rootstocks that have no known incompatibilities making this feat even more possible.

Barbera d’Asti and Barbera d’Alba remain the quintessential wines of Italy, hailing from the towns of Asti and Alba. These locations have placed Barbera on the map of varietal driven markets around the world, influencing their “New World” counterparts. The wines made from Barbera are juicy, relatively light bodied despite its deep, bold purple color and is extremely drinkable due to its refreshingly high acidity, low tannins and moderate alcohol. This once common table wines has been elevated to a new standard and is being recognized as one of the great varietals of Italy, alongside the esteemed Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.

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