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BKWine Pick: Braida, Rocchetta Tanaro, Asti

>> Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Monferrato, in the hills east of Asti, we find Braida, a winery belonging to the Bologna family. Today it’s the third generation Bolognas who manages the winery, Raffaella and Guiseppe, both with an oenology education. They are assisted by Norbert Reinisch, an Austrian doctor, married to Raffaella. The Bologna family were perhaps the first to realise the potential of the barbera grape variety. In 1982 they launched their first vintage of Bricco dell’Uccellone, made from 100% barbera, aged in small French 225 litre barrels for 15 months. No one had made something like that before and people didn’t think it was a barbera. Bricco dell’Uccellone 2006 is a powerful, full-bodied wine with a dense structure and good fruit, not hidden behind the discrete oak aging (~35-40€). Some other delicious wines from Braida@ the white Il Fiore and the red Il Bacialè, a Monferrato Rosso made from barbera, pinot nero and a touch of cabernet sauvignon and merlot (~11-14€). Their top wine is Ai Suma, made from grapes harvested later, very concentrated and extracted, an almost overwhelming wine with close to 16% alcohol. Will survive a well chosen strong cheese…

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