2010 Agostino Pavia & Figli Barbera d'Asti Bricco Blina

Wine Review: 2010 Agostino Pavia & Figli Barbera d'Asti Bricco Blina

Barbera is what I consider a "tasty" grape. If you are looking for a delicious wine from Italy, Barbera fits the bill. I have yet to taste a super complex, "great" wine made from Barbera, but it is a reliable choice for a daily drinker that brings yummy fruit, soft tannin, and bright acidity perfect for pairing with many Italian dishes.  It's a dark skinned red grape grown all over Italy, but most famously in the Piedmont Region, the home of the more famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines made from the Nebbiolo grape.

Tonight's wine, the 2010 Agostino Pavia & Figli Barbera d'Asti Bricco Blina is a DOCG wine. Bricco Blina is the name of the vineyard where the grapes were grown and Agostino Pavia & Figli is the producer. The nose is bright fruit and sour cherry with just a hint of white pepper. The flavors of red cherries, cranberries and raspberry are abundant in this lighter medium bodied red. There is plenty of acidity, and a smooth, lovely finish. It's a great Italian wine, and at $11, quite a deal as well.

In case you are unfamiliar with Italian wine labels, DOCG stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. It is the highest classification for Italian wines, controlling production methods and wine quality. There are strict rules governing the production of DOCG wines, from which grapes (and how much) you are allowed to grow,  grape ripeness, winemaking procedures and aging specifications. Every DOCG wine is subject to official tasting procedures. To prevent counterfeiting, the bottles have a numbered government seal across the neck. I tend to look for DOCG designation when I am looking for a traditional style of wine. But remember, just because a wine isn't designated DOCG doesn't mean it isn't high quality. There are lots of "fine" wines coming out of Italy (the Super Tuscans probably being the most famous) that aren't DOC or DOCG designated because they are non-traditional blends.

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