Being DOCGs, these are to be just as regulated as the strictly mandated Moscato d’Asti DOCG, which is good news for Moscato lovers looking for something different (and, presumably, for the Italians looking for work enforcing the regulations!). Like Moscato d’Asti, the new DOCGs are made from 100 percent Moscato Bianco grapes grown in the region, but don’t require Moscato dAsti’s vintage declaration. Confusingly (for me, anyway), neither mentions the grape in its DOCG name. Anyway, here’s the run-down of the new categories, both of which offer a broader stylistic range of Asti Moscato…
Speller’s masterclass was part of a presentation given to media guests gathered at the bucolic Castello Gancia, smack dab in the heart of Asti and a focal point of the area’s recent UNESCO designation. It’s the kind of place that you imagine in your dreams of what Piemonte would be like (17th century architecture sitting atop gorgeous rolling hills… that sort of thing).
Anyway, it only took me about ten minutes into that masterclass for the cold water of facts to jolt me out of any residual dreamlike morning Piemonte trance into the realization that just about everything that I thought I’d known about Asti’s boisterous vinous calling card was, basically, absolute wrong. I’m betting that most of you reading this have gotten it wrong, too; the simple truth is that the simple pleasures of Moscato d’Asti – hands-down one of the dead easiest wines to enjoy – belie complexities that are pretty friggin’ serious.
I’m not talking about Moscato’s complexity in the nose, either; though a good argument could be made that, in terms of volume of aromatic compounds, Moscato Bianco is one of the most aromatically complex grape varieties in the world. But I am talking about… well, just about everything else that goes into making a finished, drinkable Moscato d’Asti product…
In my final piece in the Barbera Moves series, I urge you to kind of ignore Barbera; temporarily, at least. To put that ostensibly odd stance in proper context, here’s a brief quote (and yeah, I am quoting myself):
Barbera is the “gateway drug” to the rest of Piedmont. Barbera is a bridge that starts an adventure into the history, land, people, and tastes that make up such compelling and unique wines as Ruchè, Grignolino, Albarossa.
My latest article looking back on my Monferrato gig is now live over at MyNameIsBarbera.com, and it’s my next-to-last for that gig. The fact that the phrase “Home, Sweet Home” appears in the post, and yet the article entirely lacks and references to Mötley Crüe is, admittedly, a severe and egregious oversight, but otherwise I think that the writing is solid (both mine and that of Nikki Sixx, I mean).
In this penultimate piece, I talk about a strange irony of the well-traveled Barbera grape variety; to wit (and if you’ll at least temporarily forgive the douchebaggery of quoting myself):
“In having this true sense of place, there’s an endearing irony in Barbera d’Asti. Few red wine grapes have seen as much globe-trotting expansion as It, and yet its best and most versatile incarnations and intimately tied to just a single, special place.”
Click on the link below to check it out (preferably while drinking some Barbera d’Asti).
This site is licensed under Creative Commons. Content may be used for non-commercial use only; no modifications allowed; attribution required in the form of a statement "originally published by 1WineDude" with a link back to the original posting.