Deep ruby red color tending to garnet with ageing. The bouquet is characterised by fruity notes of cherry and red fruits alternating with hints of spicy and sometimes floral notes. The result is a Barbera featuring an excellent structure and complexity, with sweet and velvety tannins, all of this with a lasting persistence.
On a visit to Piedmont in 2004, Matteo Molino stood out amongst our group of Langaroli – and not just for his exceptional height! His wines were great and well-priced. He was quick to understand both the potential and challenges of our market. And he spoke English very well, with a great passion for Nebbiolo – not just his own. In the next decade, he and his younger sister Martina would take over the reigns at their father’s estate, and guide it into the international spotlight by both making great wines and traveling to engage and charm international customers into Molino fans.
Mauro Molino, Matteo and Martina’s father, founded the estate. In 1973 Mauro graduated from enology school in Alba, and then followed that with five years of winemaking experience in Emilia Romagna. In 1979 after his father’s passing, he returned home to the family farm in La Morra and began consulting for local wineries while building up his own estate. 1982 was the first vintage from the famed family parcel in Conca dell’Annunziata, the conch-shaped parcel pictured above, and the rest is history. In 2003 Matteo joined the company and became a familiar face to our staff, and then in 2009, Matteo’s sister also joined the gang. Today they manage approximately 12 hectares of vineyards, 50% dedicated to Nebbiolo for Barolo, and the rest mostly Barbera, and Dolcetto. This estate practices sustainable viticulture.
Recognized as the source of the best Barbera in all of Italy, Asti is a province (as well as major city) in Piedmont, consisting of a gentle, rolling landscape with vineyards, farmland and forests alternating throughout.
Barbera d’Asti can be made in an array of styles from relatively straightforward, fruity and ready for consumption early, to the more concentrated, oak aged version with an ability to cellar impressively for 10-15 years and beyond. Some of the very best sites for Barbera in Asti are concentrated in the subzone of Nizza Monferrato. Other red varieties grown here include Freisa, Grignolino and Dolcetto, which can be bottled varietally or blended into Barbera.
Historically consumers commonly associated the Asti region with Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti, both playful, aromatic, sparkling wines made from the Muscat grape. Asti Spumante is less sweet, fully fizzy and more alcoholic (yet still clocking in at only around 9% alcohol) while Moscato d’Asti is sweeter, gently sparkling (“frizzante”) and closer to 5 or 6% alcohol. Each is produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh and fruity flavors of the grape, often including peach, apricot, lychee and rose petal. Asti is also the spot for the pink-hued Brachetto d'Acqui, a slightly sparkling wine ready to charm with its raspberry and rose flavors and aromas.
Friendly and approachable, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera; those from Asti and Alba garner the most praise. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in some New World regions. Somm Secret—In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound and in fact most Piedmontese producers today produce both styles.