Braida “il Bacialé” Monferrato Rosso, 2011

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If you’ve been following my Grape Library, I generally stick to single varietal bottles because I really like getting to know each grape and its scope. The wines also tend to be of higher quality as there is a lot of dedication and focus put into getting the grape to express itself well. Often blends are made from an assortment of extra grapes that didn’t quite make the cut for the single crus (excluding Bordeaux, et all), and there’s a certain murkiness to them that makes me forget, and forget, and…meh.

Il Bacialé (“the Matchmaker”) gets its name for seamlessly marrying Barbera (60%) with smaller amounts of Pinot Nero (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Merlot (10%). It’s got the distinctive Barbera ripeness but the edges are rounded out with a bigger, textured mouthfeel. This blend (called a Monferrato Rosso for the region in which it’s produced) is completely intentional on the part of Giacomo Bologna, ferocious Piemontese vitner superiore who loves his Barbera. So much in fact, his mission is to elevate the grape to noble status (like Nebbiolo & Sangiovese). He makes a ton of beautiful Barberas (most notably the Bricco del’Uccelone- they are not cheap), a lovely Moscato d’Asti, Brachetto and this blend that in my opinion should be in everyone’s house, bottle list, and shop. FUN WINE.

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