Wine Advocate 87 points - The 2012 Barbera del Monferrato Maraia offers a cheerful nod to the local Langhe dialect: “maraia” refers to a young child who is especially vivacious, giggly and lively. The cheerful tone of the wine perfectly embodies its fantasy name. Bright cherry and raspberry give way to mild spice and toasted nut. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016. (Jun 2013)
The color is a lively and brilliant dark ruby-red. The perfume is fresh and intense with clean scents of wild berries, currants and sour black cherry. A light hint of vanilla and toasted oak. The flavor is warm and robust, full-bodied, pleasant and balanced. This Barbera's sensory attributes make it an outstanding accompaniment for imposing first courses and main-course, meats boiled or roasted.
Blend: 90% Barbera, 10% Dolcetto
Barbera del Monferrato, situated in Italy's north-western Piedmont region, is probably the least known of the three Piedmontese classified Barbera zones. It is the largest of the trio. Most of the wines come from around the province of Alessandria, but the vineyard area also stretches into eastern Asti.
All Barbera del Monferrato wines must comprise at least 85% Barbera, the remaining 15% made up from any combination of Freisa, Grignolino, Dolcetto. The Barbera vine is believed to be native to Piedmont Monferrato hills themselves. The first evidence of this grape appears in a 17th-century document in the city hall of Nizza Monferrato. It was officially mentioned in 1798, in a list of Piedmontese grape varieties drawn up by deputy director of the Agrarian Society of Turin, Count Nuvolone. He described it as "an imposing wine that is always rather severe but richly and exquisitely perfumed and with a flavor that couples strength with finesse"
Classic Barbera del Monferrato wines have a deep ruby hue and a bouquet of ripe plum and cherries, often piqued by a hint of black pepper. They are known for retaining a balanced acidity even in warmer vintages, making them an ideal partner to tomato-based dishes. Barbera-based wines are lower in tannin than those made from Nebbiolo, making them more approachable in their early years.
|Marchesi di Barolo historical cellars are located in the town of Barolo, in the building overlooking the Castle of the Marquis Falletti.
It is here that more than 200 years ago a beautiful story began.
The story of a wine cellar where, in the heart of the Langhe area and protected by gentle hills, a wine was born. This wine, as the French tradition suggests, was called Barolo like the town where it was produced for the first time.
No one at that time could imagine that it was destined one day to be king: the King of Wines, the Wine of the Kings.
The story begins precisely in 1807, in Paris, when the Marquis of Barolo Carlo Tancredi Falletti married Juliette Colbert de Maulevrier, a French noblewoman and the great granddaughter of the Sun King’s well-known Minister of Finance. Juliette saw the great potential of the wine made in Barolo that, after a complete fermentation and a long aging in wood, would have been able to unveil all the qualities typical of the soil and of the grape variety: Nebbiolo, powerful and austere, able to last long and to express all the characteristics of this extraordinary terroir.
In 1864, Juliette’s death marked the end of the prestigious Falletti dynasty: in order to perpetuate the Marquise’s memory and charitable work, the Opera Pia Barolo was founded and established in the beautiful Palazzo Barolo in Turin.
This story was meant to cross path with the story of another family in Barolo: the Abbona family who had its own wine cellars next to the Castle of Marquis Falletti.
Indeed, at around the same time Pietro Abbona was born.
Thanks to his skill and tenacity, Pietro, together with his brother Ernesto and his sisters Marina and Celestina, was eventually able to acquire the Agenzia Tenuta Opera Pia Barolo: the ancient cellars of vinification and refinement of the Marchesi di Barolo estate.
Thus Massimo Martinelli, in his book Barolo As I Know It, says: “Of the personages connected with the name Barolo, some may be considered of historic importance, real and true pioneers…[of these] people first place goes to Pietro Abbona, undisputed patriarch of Barolo…who, as an unquestionable stand-bearer, made the wine of his region known throughout the world. It was from his winery that Barolo made its first historic steps. His large wood casks (some of which one can still be admired today in the cellars in Barolo) were in fact part of the legacy of the Marquise Falletti. Commendatore Abbona inherited a longstanding tradition, a love of the vineyards, the wineries and wine itself, and he brought his label displaying the castles of Barolo and Serralunga to the furthest tables. And it is with pleasure that we recall this great contribution.”
Today the Abbona Family continues the work that began more than two centuries ago producing high quality wines meant to enrich, year after year, the history of this important cellar where modernity and tradition meet and where a great heritage of vineyards and knowledge has been passed down from parents to children for over five generations.