San Fereolo 2004 'Austri' Langhe Rosso DOC
Item Number: 9049
Sub Region: Langhe
Appellation/AVA: Langhe DOC
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Grape(s): 95% Barbera / 5% Nebbiolo
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic
Soil Type: Medium textured with mostly limestone
About Barbera: A grape variety that only arrived in the Langhe towards the end of the 19th century, imported from the nearby Asti territory. Its character is extremely different from those exuberantly tannic varieties - Nebbiolo and Dolcetto. Very low in tannins, with a roar of fruit and color, good productivity and resistance to diseases, Barbera is a reliable, high yield grape that gives us wines based more on power than on finesse. Here in its adoptive land it's capable of giving us long-lived and important wines, thanks to the marl clay-limestone soils of the region, at times longer living than Nebbiolo, though not as complex in its evolution.
Terroir: The land is located in the commune of Dogliani, primarily in the vineyard of Austri, with exposure to the southeast to southwest, sheltered from the wind at 400 meters above sea level. The soil is medium textured with mostly limestone, located in the sub zone of Valdiberti. Other small plots are Costabella and Cerri Sottani, with exposure to the south and southwest, located in Valdibà. The vines are cultivated using a simple Guyot, with a plant density ranging from 4000 to 5000 vines per hectare. The plots are cultivated according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which foresee a different approach to soil fertility and the use of copper and sulfur in very small quantities.
Winemaking Notes: While much of Piedmont eagerly pushes the greatest wines to market as soon as they are in bottle, ‘Austri’ is one of two cuvées from San Fereolo that offer a patient alternative. Nicoletta treats the wine with a high degree of respect, allowing it to evolve through 3 years of elevage in large, neutral oak, followed by another 3 to 4 years in bottle. Grapes are picked by hand and brought to the cellar in fifty-pound boxes, after being destemmed and crushed, the Barbera is fermented in wooden vats, without selected yeasts or additives. The temperature is not controlled unless it reaches 33°C. If a vat approaches higher temperatures (33 degrees), the must is racked into tank to cool it down before being returned to the wood vat. At the end of alcoholic fermentation, the wine is soaked on the skins for another four or five days. After removing the wine from the skins, malolactic fermentation occurs through temperature control in the cellar. The wine remains in wood barrels, 7 to 40 hectoliters, for 16 months in suspension on the fine lees and batonnage is performed, with decreasing frequency as the aging period progressed. The wine is then moved into steel for a brief period before bottling.
Tasting Notes: The ‘Austri’ is rich yet elegant Barbera, where the contribution of wood is very discreet and a small percentage of Nebbiolo adds finesse to the impetuous nature of this grape variety. Intense and vinous with notes of rose petals, peony and gardenia, veering towards red fruits, pepper and bay leaves. It enters the mouth firm and warm and finishes sapid with notes of cherry. The 2004 vintage is particularly powerful with pepper, plum, moss and strawberry notes. 2004 was a classic vintage.