Why Be Curious? Here’s a Barbera base (everyday Barbera) that’s anything but humdrum. It comes from Scarpa, traditional Barbera d’Asti specialist in the Monferrato. Even their everyday wines display a special elegance thanks to extra aging before release.
Produttore / Producer: Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa has been producing traditional wines in the Monferrato hills of southeast Piemonte since 1854. But it was Mario Pesce, admired by both Giacosa and Gaja, who made Scarpa’s reputation in the second half of the 20th century. Traditional sometimes means ‘rustic’, but that’s not the case here. A very present gusto della casa (house style) produces elegant wines with arrow-like acidity and well-aged tannins. In the 21st century, Scarpa continues to produce each year small quantities of more than a dozen wines from 10 different grape varieties and to release gradually wines from its ample library of bottles going back to the 1960s.
Vigna / Vineyard: Poderi Bricchi is Scarpa’s 50-hectare estate vineyard area in Castel Rocchero, in the heart of the Monferrato. 27 of the 50 hectares are planted with nine grape varieties that produce 11 wines. (Scarpa also sells off some grapes.) The remaining 23 hectares are forests and fields, which Scarpa deliberately leaves unplanted in order to maintain biodiversity and healthy vineyards. Vineyard treatments are copper and sulfur.
Cantina / Cellar: Fermentation and aging for at least a year in stainless steel tanks, followed by a minimum of six months (and usually much longer) in bottle before release.
Il Vino / The Wine: Casa Scarpa is one of three Barberas from Scarpa, 40% of whose production is Barbera d’Asti. It’s classic Asti: red fruit and cranberry-tangy, rather than the black-fruited, more muscular Barbera d’Alba.
A Tavola… / At the Table… This is a refreshing, zingy Barbera with endless food pairing possibilities, including antipasti, salumi, vegetables, and pasta dishes with or without tomato sauce.
Scarpa Barbera d’Asti ‘Casa Scarpa’
Vigna / Vineyard
Denominazione / Appellation: Barbera d’Asti DOC
Nome / Name: Poderi Bricchi, in Castel Rocchero (Monferrato).
Ettari / Hectares: 27 hectares (for all Scarpa wines other than the Nebbioli).
Quota / Altitude: 400 m / 1310 ft.
Suoli / Type of soils: Clay with a vein of sand.
Vitigni / Varieties: 100% Barbera.
Età delle viti / Vine age: Planted 2000-1001.
Allevamento / Trellis system: Guyot.
Metodo di vendemmia / Harvest technique: Hand harvested.
Metodo agricolo / Agricultural technique: Lotta integrata (sustainable).
Cantina / Cellar
Fermentazione alcolica / Alcoholic fermentation: In stainless steel.
Élevage: 12-18 months in stainless steel, plus at least six more months in bottle before release.
Gradazione alcolica / Alcoholic %: 13-13.5%.
Tappo e bottiglia / Closure and bottle: Natural cork, 750 ml Bordeaux bottle.