Vino della Settimana–2009 Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne, by Vietti

If we were to say which winemakers’ bottles we (or the restaurants or wine bars we visit)open most often, Vietti would be one of them (together with Altare and Cavallotto).  Strange then how seldom Vietti, and the other usual suspects, get wine of the week honors.  I guess it has a little to do with them being like family, it’s more kosher to give others accolades, presents, and prices.  Also, don’t forget that Vietti has been the recipient of the first, and to this date the only, Birthday Wine of the Week.  And, now, WOTW….

Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne 2009

Jokes aside, it is easy making friends with Vietti.  One would be the people itself – Luca and Elena are simply wonderful people. Their top the line Barolos – some of the best wines around.  Not to mention how they together with a handful others are redefining Barbera to the world (I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – the Barbera La Crena is one of my favorite wine, in any weight class).  Or maybe it is their relentless pursuit of improving (we simply cannot wait to taste the results of their wine destemmed by hand – similar to the Altare experiment). Being the wine of choice of Bruce Springsteen, the Boss no less? (anyone reading this that can verify this rumor?)

Well, to us it is a little bit of all of the above.  But what’s really setting them apart, and making them one of a collect few, is their dedication to offer great value wines at prices all can afford without compromising on the quality.

The 09 Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne is such a wine.  Widely available, at a price point that brings about a smile, it is made from grapes selected from approximately 10 year old vines in Agliano d’Asti.  The wine spends 14 months in oak barrels or oak casks, followed by 2 months in steel tanks. Blue and black fruits on the nose, a touch of vanilla (to us who are not big on vanilla and toasty oaky flavors, Vietti seems to balance it out to our liking somewhat), mineral, and spice.  Good acidity, with a peppery end to it. Medium length. Not bad at all for a sub-20 dollar wine.  And one of the few wines at this price point that gets better the following day, where the earthy aromas takes over, as well as it feels more balanced.

Keep it up Luca and Elena.  See you in a couple of weeks.  We bring chocolate, you open wine?

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