Our tasting impressions
A lovely, sweet nose gives way to a light, bright and well-balanced Barbera. The oak provides structure and texture but imparts little in the way of flavor. this is a sophisticated but classically styled Barbera for near and mid-term enjoyment.
About this wine
Made from Barbera from the top of the southwest-facing slope where the soil is light and calcareous. There is always a gentle wind in this Monforte d'Alba vineyard at 500m, hence the name Ariota, which means breeze in Piemonte. The oldest vines in the 1ha plot were planted in 1997. Harvest is usually the first week of October.
Maceration is on the skins for 10 days. The wine ages in barriques for about 1 year. The DOCG designation (Superiore means the Barbera must age at least a year including at least 4 months in oak barrel).
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
Silvia reports the winter was long and there was substantial precipitation, which was welcome after the torrid 2017 that created hydric stress. Spring was cool and still wet, including some fierce storms that were challenging. Flowering and berry development were under ideal circumstances and suggested an overabundant crop. Green harvesting was necessary to ensure concentrated fruit. The summer was hot but uneventful and the perfect weather led up to the harvest. Only Nebbiolo saw reduced yield due to the intense heat of the prior year. Overall, Silvia considers 2018 a fine and classic vintage with excellent balance to the fruit if conscientious vineyard management was practiced.
Suggested glassware: Grassl Liberté
The Pressenda family is large, happy and rather entrepreneurial. Diego and Rosanna started producing wine on the land his parents began as sharecroppers. The 15ha sustainable vineyard, known as La Torricella, sits between Monforte d'Alba and Roddino.
In 2010, the family developed an agrituirsmo featuring a restaurant run by Chef (and daughter) Alessandra and her husband Francesco and a spa, managed by daughter Annalisa. The views are amazing.
Today, the winemaking is the responsibility of daughter Silvia (Sergio Molino consults). Son, Oscar handles sales and marketing. Production is about 60,000 bottles annually. VDLT was introduced to the Pressenda family by Sergio Molino, who consults on their winemaking.
The next generation of Pressendas are utilizing their talents while showing great respect for tradition and the land. The future looks very bright.