Piedmont: Braida “Montebruna” 2003
Montebruna: A hillside of vineyard land so loved that artists have written lyrical poetry of an encounter with the 100% Barbera wine called simply, beautifully, Montebruna. In fact, the Montebruna bottle label is fashioned from words of the written poetry, for more on that see here: http://www.braida.it/ita/montebruna.pdf .
The greatness of Giacomo Bologna, gifted winemaker and founder of Braida, lies at the heart of the Braida story. Giacomo transformed Barbera production with a decision to mature Barbera in oak casks, a trend in Barbera production that continues today.
Sadly, Giacomo is gone now, but his work, his dream, is continued on by wife Anna and children Rafaella and Giuseppe. We must also mention Braida Exports Manager Norbert Reinisch whom I’ve worked with on a few different
occasions, a wonderful person indeed, a former Austrian doctor whose passion for wine has led him both to Braida and Rafaella, his wife.
Montebruna is a lush wine, soft and “sexy” in the mouth, fragrant with fresh cherries and berries, and a long, almond toned finish. A full bodied wine of great balance and class. At this writing, the 2003 vintage is still drinking wonderfully.
The soil at Montebruna is a sandy, clay marl type with a south-southeast vineyard orientation at 250m altitude. Fermentation takes place in steel tubs over 2-3 weeks with pumping of must over the dregs. Malolactic fermentation in wooden casks (6 months). 3 months fining in bottle.
Vintage Note: Barbera especially benefitted in this vintage
Food pairing suggestions: Risotto, polenta (especially with leek sauce) , agnolotti or gnocchi with sage & butter sauce, medium aged cheeses, onions stuffed with veal & breadcrumbs, hearty bread & cheese soup, classic “bagna cauda”