Michele Chiarlo la Court Barbera d Asti Superiore DOC 2010

Code: AA1131
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Referring to Michele Chiarlo as anything less than one of the best known and most consistent producers of high quality wine in Piedmont would be an insult to both the current crop of Chiarlo family members at the helm of this now famous winery and to the seven generations of Chiarlo family winemakers that have gone before them. Best known for a range of six Barolo, amongst which the family’s offerings from the “Cerequio” vineyard have become icons of the region, the “other” wine for which the Michele Chiarlo winery is particularly known is this “La Court” Barbera d’Asti. A single vineyard Barbera d’Asti, made only from the very best Barbera fruit harvested from the “La Court” Estate in Nizza (Monferrato) and only produced in the best vintages, Michele Chiarlo’s “La Court” Barbera d’Asti was designed to be a flagship for this region of production. Fermented in large (55 hectolitre capacity) oak vats, half of this was then matured in large oak barrels, with the other half matured in Allier oak “barriques”. Once bottled, the La Court was held at the Michele Chiarlo winery for 15 months, before it was released for sale. An intense ruby red in the glass, this has always been a richly extracted and powerfully flavoured expression of Barbera d’Asti. Joining the primary fruit notes on the nose are hints of tobacco, clove spice and cedar that show the influence of maturation upon this wine. In the mouth this is full-bodied with primary fruit flavours prominent. Leading with ripe plum, dark cherry and hints of blackberry, this segues into a slightly more developmental character from the mid-palate with a slightly earthy nuance and hints of balsamic appearing. Supported by a significant, but well integrated and time softened tannin structure that (along with a good level of retained acidity) could offer up to a decade of further cellaring potential. The 55-acre Tenuta Aluffi is one of the most prestigious estates in the southern part of Asti, near the town of Nizza Monferrato, a choice area for exceptional-quality Barbera. Within Aluffi is the La Court estate, with excellent soils of magnesium-rich calcareous marl and a beneficial south-southwest exposure. This jewel of vineyard land receives the fastidious attention of the Chiarlo family so that its old vines produce extraordinary grapes. Pairs well with red meat, game and tomato-based dishes.