2019 L’Armangia, Barbera d’Asti DOCG “Sopra Berruti” Piemonte, Italy.
The pretty food friendly, ruby/garnet and smooth 2019 Sopra Berruti Babera by L’Armangia is a mid-weight pure varietal red wine that shows off a polished array of black cherry, currant, strawberry and plum fruits, hints of spice, wild herbs, crushed flowers and subtle earthiness. Everything here makes for a nice expression of Barbera and while silky and ripe, there’s good acidity still and this wine has lots of flexibility of use, going well with a wide range of foods, though especially with rustic meat dishes and pasta choices. As this well balanced and textural Barbera, that was aged in a combination of stainless steel tank and used large wood casks, which comes in at 13.5% natural alcohol, slightly less than other current releases, opens up and fills out adding fresh violets and a fine stony/mineral element. The terroir includes classic marl limestone and clay, along with some sandy soils, and this wine was crafted to showcase transparency and freshness, and I highly recommend it for value savvy Barbera fans and those seeking a clean drinking old world wine without pretense.

The L’Armangia winery, based in Canelli, was all new to me, so it was exciting to try this Barbera d’Asti and learn about their collection of wines, which includes another cru Barbera from Nizza, a sweet Moscato, that is very common in the Canelli zone of Piemonte, a Spumante, a Rosé and a unique Chardonnay. The Armangia winery has roots going back to 1850, but this label, started in 1988, is run by Ignazio and Giuliana Giovine, with Ignazio making the wine and Giuliana, who is a Sommelier, running the administration at the winery. Imported by Lucidity Wine Merchants, L’Armangia strives to be fully sustainable in the vines and in the cellar and makes wines with a humble, humorous and authentic personality, as this one shows, and while serious in quality, they also express a sense of place and tradition, being part of the Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti. The Sopra Berruti Barbera d’Asti comes from a variety of hillside parcels and is 100% de-stemmed and is cool fermented in stainless vats in separate lots and aged between 6 and 9 months with about 30% in barrel before blending and bottling. I could easily go through a case of this stuff pretty quickly and I look forward to trying the Nizza DOCG version too.
($22 ESt.) 90 Points, grapelive

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