Ercole Barbera del Monferatto
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According to Chyna, this wine is "take it to the face drinkable to the point you don't even need a glass." She loves the liter size, the incredible value, and the fact that she can pair it with any meal she makes.
Ercole (Italian for 'Hercules') is produced by a generations-old cooperative of local growers in the Monferrato area. Every Fall, this group of small estates who have soils of calcareous-clay, cultivate bright and balanced fruit to blend together under one label, allowing them to make authentic wines that are transmitters of time and place.
Many folks know the Barbera grape for its bright acidity, and this wine is no exception to the rule. With its freshness, it is also known for ripe, red fruits with a floral, mineral core. Extremely charming, food-friendly, and delicious, Barbera is very much the unsung hero of Piedmont reds, often taking a backseat to Nebbiolo. The place, Monferrato, ranks among the most historic grape-growing areas of Piedmont. For that reason, The Piedmont Guy works primarily with Monferrato’s indigenous grape varieties.
The grapes for this wine were harvested from late September to early October. The longer hang time is partially attributed to the cooler climate around Monferrato and partially the grower's choice to allow the fruit the chance to fully ripen. To maintain the fresh acidity of the Barbera and intensify the fruit and floral tones the grape is known for, the producers fermented the wine in concrete and then allowed it to age in stainless steel.
Amber first tasted this wine last spring and fell in love. Two days later, she placed an order for several cases, and it had already sold out with the distributor for the vintage. The wine is small production, but we will try to keep it in the shop in the future. As a bonus, the liter will only set you back $13.99.