Cantine Valpane Barbera 2014
Wine: Cantine Valpane
Jim at Keife & Co. here in New Orleans recommended this easy drinker. I'd just selected a 1986 Castello Conti Boca, a 100% nebbiolo treasure I gifted my mother for Christmas (which she shared with me last week), and needed something easy on the wallet for myself. After spending a week and a day back in Florence, I returned home to New Orleans and opened this barbera del Monferrato on a balmy Friday evening. It was a welcome respite after travelling.
Cantine Valpane was founded in 1899 in the Monferrato appellation in Italy's northwest region of Piedmont (Piedmonte in Italian). Pietro Arditi runs the estate now, named for his grandfather and taught the ropes of raising grapes by his Aunt Lydia, who held tenure between the two Pietros. He makes only red wines, from what I can find, primarily from the barbera grape, but also a few cuvées from grignolino, freisa, and ruché, three wines I hope will soon cross my path.
The Cantine Valpane Rosso Pietro Barbera del Monferrato 2014 is characteristically light in color and high in acidity. Fermented in cement tanks using native yeasts, the wine is then aged in tank and bottle for an additional 12 to 15 months. Earthy and subtle on the nose, spicy cherry on the palate, with enough tannin to get your attention but not demand it.