From Oliver McCrum Wines: "The Asti and Monferrato areas of Piedmont, east of the Barolo zone, are Barbera country. Barbera may be indigenous to this region, and (although grown elsewhere in Italy and increasingly here in California) finds its best expressions here, ranging from bright, raspberryish wines aged in stainless steel, to darker, more substantial examples aged in small French oak. Agliano is one of the best-known Barbera villages in the Asti zone. Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe ('Pino') and Mauro make two styles of Barbera from two different single vineyards, less than five thousand cases in all. Barbera d'Asti used to have a reputation for having acidity like that of a car battery, apparently due to high yields and an occasional lack of malolactic fermentation. These wines are different, zesty but balanced, with luscious fruit to match the acidity. I drink them with all kinds of food; the very low tannins of barbera make it versatile. The Bricco Blina is delicious with grilled salmon, for example. Barbera d'Asti 'Blina:' This wine is a direct, straightforward rendition of the Barbera grape. Fresh acidity and berry flavors are the hallmarks of Barbera, but low yields and old vines give this wine very good depth and concentration, too. Notes: bright red color with a violet rim; aroma of red berries and mineral; palate is classic Barbera, bright raspberry/cranberry flavors with a very long finish."
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