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2012 Piemonte Bianco DOC, Punset, Neive, Piedmont
Marina Marcarino of Punset produces an authentic and fine Barbaresco style of wine. Destined to be an engineer by a family in the construction business, Marina rebelled and headed to the vineyards on their 17ha estate overlooking Neive; following in their footsteps of her grandmother, also a ‘contadina’. Trained in viticulture, she turned the property organic in 1982, certified in 1993.
All the vineyards are grassed over, with the fruit being vinified traditionally in both cement and stainless steel, before being aged in a combination of used French tonneaux and slavonian botte grande.
Punset has three Barbaresco vineyards: Basarin, San Cristoforo, and San Cristoforo ‘Campo Quadro’.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
The Piedmontese DOCG zone of Barbaresco is responsible for producing some of Italy’s finest wines. It occupies the same region and uses the same grape (Nebbiolo) as its bigger brother Barolo, but is a third of the size (only 640 hectares versus Barolo’s 1,700 hectares). It is also 50 years younger than Barolo, having produced wine labelled Barbaresco since 1890.
Barbaresco earned its DOCG after Barolo in 1980, largely thanks to the efforts of Angelo Gaja. The soils are lighter here than in Barolo – both in colour and weight – and more calcareous. The slopes are also less favourably situated and (relatively speaking) yield earlier-maturing yet extremely elegant wines that require less oak ageing (normally one year in oak plus six months in bottle). The appellation’s key districts are Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and Alba.
Recommended producers: Cigliuti, Gaja, Marchesi di Gresy