Barbera d'Asti Superiore 'Crocera', Il Cascinone

Country : Italy

Grape Variety : Barbera

A wonderful Northern Italian red, from an exceptional small estate in Piemonte's Monferrato hills. Dense black cherry fruit, with hints of dark chocolate, mocha and spice.

Tasting Note : Aromas of damson and black cherry abound on the nose. The palate is full-bodied and generous, with black cherry and dark plum fruit underpinned by deep notes of dark chocolate and spice.

Food Pairing : Duck; beef casseroles; peppered steak; roasted aubergine.

More info : This wine is produced from the 'Crocera' vineyard on the il Cascinone estate, nestling right in the heart of Piemonte's Monferrato hills. The grapes are harvested by hand, fermentation takes place in stainless steel tank, after which the wine spends twelve months in French oak – only 10-15% of which is new barrique. Traditionally, the wines of Barbera used to be structured in style with chewy tannins, and several years' ageing would be required before they were ready to drink. The trend nowadays, however, is to make these wines in a more approachable style, with lower tannins and riper, more forward fruit. This single vineyard cracker falls into the latter category – buy it now and drink it straight away!

Winery : The Il Cascinone estate was acquired by Araldica in 1999, and since then much investment has gone into both the vineyards and the winery. Most of the wines we offer at Great Wine Online come from small, family-owned estates (you may already have noticed!), but this is a notable exception. Araldica are a co-operative winery representing around 230 small growers who do not have the capacity to produce their own wines. Relationships between the growers and the co-operative date back to the 1950s in many cases, so quality and provenance are very much at the heart of everything they do. Founded in 1954 by Livio Manera, the winery is now run by his son Claudio, and has developed over the years to become one of the foremost producers in the area. Claudio's wife, Lella, heads up quality control and their son, Carlo, is part of the winemaking team. It is a true family enterprise, producing wines that are accessible in both style and price.