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Barbera del Monferrato Wine

Barbera del Monferrato, situated in Italy's north-western Piedmont region, is probably the least known of the three Piedmontese classified Barbera zones. It is the largest of the trio, with around 10,320 acres (4300ha) under vine. Most of the wines come from around the province of Alessandria, but the vineyard area also stretches into eastern Asti.

The coat of arms of Casale Monferrato

All Barbera del Monferrato wines must comprise at least 85% Barbera, the remaining 15% made up from any combination of Freisa, Grignolino and Dolcetto. In 2008 the superiore designation (Barbera del Monferrato Superiore) was upgraded to full DOCG status – the highest echelon in Italy's multi-tiered wine classification system. The superiore wines are required, under their more stringent production conditions, to contain at least 13% alcohol by volume and be aged for at least 14 months before release (including a minimum of six months in oak).

Barbera from Monferrato differs from that made in Asti or Alba in both its provenance and style. Where Alba and Asti produce strongly structured wines, their Monferrato equivalents are more aromatic and often a little less robust. The Barbera vine is believed to be native to Piedmont, indeed, to the Monferrato hills themselves. The first historical evidence of this grape appears in a 17th-century document preserved in the city hall of Nizza Monferrato. It was also officially mentioned in 1798, in a list of Piedmontese grape varieties drawn up by the deputy director of the Agrarian Society of Turin, Count Nuvolone. He described it as "an imposing wine that is always rather severe but richly and exquisitely perfumed and with a flavor that couples strength with finesse".

After phylloxera decimated the region's vineyards at the end of the 19th century, Barbera was chosen as the grape to replant with, a decision based on its rapid growth, relatively abundant yields and a high resistance to both phylloxera and fungal diseases. It is now the most widely planted red-wine grape in Piedmont, popular with both winemakers and consumers for its ripe, tangy red-fruit flavors.

Classic Barbera del Monferrato wines have a deep ruby hue and a bouquet of ripe plum and cherries, often piqued by a hint of black pepper. They are known for retaining a balanced acidity even in warmer vintages, making them an ideal partner to tomato-based dishes. Barbera-based wines are lower in tannin than those made from Nebbiolo, making them more approachable in their early years.

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Here are some wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $11 9086
Accornero Giulin Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $15 11673
Cantine Valpane Rosso Pietro Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $15 15110
Iuli Barabba Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $34 29237
Accornero Bricco Batista Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $34 29403
Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $18 30509
Morando Silvio Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $11 32270
Cantine Valpane 'Valpane' Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $27 32885
Iuli Umberta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont Italy Barbera $13 33086
Villa Donna Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $10 38459
Casalone Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $13 43127
Visconti Cassinis Ravizza Vicara 'Vadmo', Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Italy Barbera $13 45535
Villa Sparina Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $17 47780
Giacomo Bologna Braida La Monella Barbera del Monferrato Frizzante, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $11 49273
Iuli Rossore Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $20 49273
Luigi Tacchino Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $11 51342
Cascina Zerbetta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont,Italy Barbera $18 52490
Morando Silvio Le Coste Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $18 54259
Gaudio Bricco Mondalino Barbera del Monferrato Superiore, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $11 63147
Bersano Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $56 65006
Villa Sparina Rivalta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $41 65006
Luigi Tacchino Albarola, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Italy Barbera $18 65972
Visconti Cassinis Ravizza Vicara 'Cantico della Crosia', Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Italy Barbera $17 66940
Bricco dei Guazzi Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy Barbera $10 67915
Castello di Uviglie Pico Gonzaga, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, Italy Barbera $23 79137
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