2022 Cantina Ratti, Barbera d’Asti “Battaglione” DOP, Piemonte, Italy.
The bright ruby/garnet, fresh and juicy Cantina Ratti Barbera d’Asti “Battaglione” is an easy to love Piemonte red that has an array of clean and ripe dark berry, plum and black cherry fruit, as well as hints of wild flowers, mountain herbs, spice, subtle earthy Umami elements, mineral tones and youthful acidity. All folding together in a highly enjoyable and quaffable way, this less serious bottling, is perfect for light to medium cuisine and makes for a fun bistro style, smooth and fruit forward Barbera to drink over the next 2 to 3 years. Ratti has been making this version of Barbera since 2009 and make this Battaglione Babera d’Asti with exclusively, stainless steel tank fermentation and aging, which is very short, much like a Côte du Rhône, promoting clarity, purity of varietal character and terroir nuance. I have founded Ratti for about 10 years now and usually enjoy their wines, especially the Ochetti Langhe Nebbiolo and the top Barolo offerings, though they do a series of reasonably priced Dolchetto, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardnnay.

The Cantina Ratti wines sport a distinctive package, with the historical “soldier” label that was created by Renato Ratti to recall the heroism of the Piedmontese regiments in the 18th Century when the republic of Italy was being formed, making the wines easy to identify on the shelves of your wine merchant. These Ratti wines offer loads of value and personality and I have found, especially in these latest vintages, very expressive fruit and ripe flavored profiles, as seen here in the Battaglione Babera d’Asti. That said, the signature Barolo offerings, with the bird label, are far more structured and age worthy, with single cru wines leading the way, including their brand new Serradenari, first made in 2019 from some of the highest vineyard sites in La Morra, the Marcenasco, the Conca and the historic Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, which is the collectors price in the lineup. These Barolo are traditionally crafted and see the full DOCG rules with a three week maceration and a submerged cap fermentation in stainless before being aged close to 24 months in classic large oak casks. Ratti has become a very popular winery and are savvy buys, with their Barbera being a very friendly option that should not be hard to find.
($20 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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