Mix and match with other Direct wines from this producer for minimum purchase of 6 bottles (or equivalent of 4500mL) per producer. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in a few weeks - $4/bottle for 12 (+$2 if order less than $400) or more & $6/bottle for 6 (+$2 if order less than $200) per producer.
Our tasting impressions
This Barbera Superiore really demonstrates the difference between 2015 and 2016. Like the previous vintage, there is a ton of gorgeous and deeply flavored fruit. But this year is noticeably more substantial - which is saying something because the '15 is a formidable wine. It could use a few years to develop more but it has such good bones on which to do so. This is Gallina afterall.
About this wine
100% Barbera purchased grapes from the outstanding Neive vineyard called Gallina. Only one other estate produces Barbera from here. The grapes come from 2 plots planted 30 and 50 years ago respectively.
The crushed grapes are vinified in steel tanks for 8-12 days. The DOCG designation Superiore means the Barbera must age at least a year including at least 4 months in oak barrel, but Ugo ages his 18 months in 2,500 liter Slovenian-oak barrels and then in bottle for 4-6 months more. Production is 4,000 bottles.
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
The 2016 growing season started cool and wet before what might be considered a perfect summer, without the now commonplace torrid heat waves and with lower than typical humidity. This delightful uneventfulness persisted right up to a harvest that was considerably later than has become the norm. All in all, a splendid vintage that can compete for ripeness with '15 but has so much more balancing traits.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Ugo Lequio started his boutique winery in 1981 despite not owning any vines. He lived in view of Gallina, one of the great vineyards in Neive producing Barbaresco. He had to persuade a vineyard owner to sell grapes to him. The Marcarinos had much of the most cherished plots around Cascina Nuova. He was able to purchase Barbera from them initially and after many years he succeeded in acquiring their prized Nebbiolo, which had previously gone to Bruno Giacosa, one of the legends of Langhe wines in Piedmont. The vineyard has optimal exposure, altitude and soil composition.
Ugo does almost everything himself including oversight of vineyard management. His grape selection is painstaking and his winemaking very traditional. He ages his wines longer than the regulations stipulate and does nothing to alter the natural alcohol levels.
He is a true artisan, crafting incredible wines. We tasted an Arneis that had barely begun fermentation (it looked like a cloudy unfiltered beer) yet it had unbelievable delineation and balance. Ugo is his own man, a rightfully proud man who is so deeply devoted to making extraordinary wine.