2019 La Spinetta, Barbera D’Asti Superiore DOCG “Ca’ Di Pian” Piedmonte, Italy.
Beautifully dark and compelling in the glass, the 2019 La Spinetta Ca’ Di Pian, Top of the Hill, Barbera Superiore is wonderfully balanced with a depth of fruit, spice, acidity and subtle earthiness, making it stand out for the price and making it a fabulous food wine. This vintage follows this wine’s historic profile and quality with loads of dark berry, black currant, plum and cherry fruits which lead the way of the round and full palate with hints of licorice, forest floor, crushed lilacs, sandalwood and bright wild herbs. The Ca’ Di Pian, as the winery notes, sees a short fermentation and maceration in tank, it lasts for 6 or 7 days, but still has plenty of extraction, as this wine shows, before being aged 12 months in a mix of new and old, medium toasted, French oak barriques, allowing for a clean, sleek and elegant style. That said the wood here is well hidden and much less obvious than you’d expect, though touches of vanilla are in evidence in the background.
The Ca’ Di Pian Barbera Superiore gets, as I’ve noted in past reviews, a treatment in the cellar that is close to what you’d expect from a known perfectionist like Giorgio Rivetti, it is crafted more like a Burgundy, or a California Pinot than the old school and rustic version of this grape, but that extra care is appreciated each time you open a bottle of the Ca’ Di Pian. The Rivetti family, Giorgio’s dad and two brothers, started humbly and were mainly growers and makers of Moscato d’Asti into the late eighties before Giorgio pushed La Spinetta into the wine world’s spotlight with a series of fabulous Cru Barbaresco and Barbera wines, like this one, in the nineties. After which Rivetti turned his attention to Piedmonte’s King of Wines, Barolo, first making a single cru version with his epic 2000 Campe Barolo. Even after Rivetti and La Spinetta’s fame grew, he never stopped loving his Barberas, which include a couple of limited single cru versions, like the Gallina, but I really love this bottling, it is one of my favorite go to wines. This more luxurious vintage of Ca’ Di Pian offers a ton of personality and value, and I recommend stocking up on this one.
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive