Minimum purchase 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 or more & $6/bottle for 6.
Our tasting impressions
We learned 2 things from the 2016 Plaustra: (1) It has a devoted cadre of fans, who cleaned it out quickly; and (2) Alberto has a way with Barbera. The 2018, similarly, has good body and roundness. It also is charming and delicious. This makes it eminently quaffable though it invites further contemplation if you so wish. Great for drinking now or see how it evolves over 5 years.
About this wine
100% Barbera (clone AT84) from a western-facing slope called Plaustra located in Santa Maria in the commune of La Morra. Planted 2008 in the MGA of Roncaglia with high-density so their 7 hectares has 8,000 vines instead of the more typical 5,000. Alberto believes it forces the vines to work harder, ripen better and produce more complex fruit.
Vinification is over 6 days at a controlled temperature in steel tanks (where the wine stays to age) with a target of 28 °C. Part of the lees is mixed in order to produce a fuller and rounder body.
About the grape
Barbera is a dark-skinned grape from vigorously growing, easy to manage vines, so at least in Piedmont, most of the plantings are on the slopes, exposures and altitudes which are not best for Nebbiolo.
Barbera wines are high in acidity, low in tannins and light-bodied - although they can give the impression that they are big and hearty because of their purplish-black hue and relative roundness.
Barbera has been experiencing a Renaissance over the last couple of decades due to greater attention from talented winemakers who have discovered how to better craft the wines.
About the vintage
2018 was a remarkably uneventful year in the Langhe. That, plus fine weather around harvest, adds up to a good vintage.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
The estate of Alberto Burzi in La Morra is young - the first vintage was 2012 - but so are Alberto and his sister Caterina. They are the first generation in their family to grow and bottle wine (a mere 20,000 per year). Their grandfather was part of a cooperative selling grapes to winemakers.
While they may be young, their vines are most definitely not - up to 80 years old. They farm naturally and organically, without certification. Alberto uses the Guyot system for vine training, typical in cool climates. He destems and does manual pump-overs 3 or 4 times per day. Bottling is earlier than most estates. He has begun experimenting with concrete tanks as an intermediary vessel between botti and bottle. He believes it provides more temperature stability. The bottis are neutral Austrian barrels.
What they might lack in years, they make up in passion, commitment and curiosity. Their goal is to produce delicate yet true expressions of Nebbiolo and Barbera and they are definitely succeeding. VDLT, the first to introduce their wine to the US is proud to be supporting the vision and dedication of these wonderful young people.
Alberto & Caterina's hard work is enabling them to grow. They are leasing a vineyard in La Serra, from which they will soon produce new wine.