Barbera ‘Brich’, DOC Piemonte – Agricola Gaia


Stewed fruits of the forest, lovely deep red colour with a nice sour plummy feel and dash of cherry. It’s a really fun, funky and fresh-tasting wine with that tell-tale natural ‘fizz’ that settles from a decant. Seriously drinkable, (which is entirely the point really!) a little spice and blackcurrant with a pleasant finish. A go-to wine, well-paired with veal, pasta, pork, game and poultry. Try it with some Miles Davies whilst ruminating the meaning of life, or listening to a good Audible thriller, like ‘I am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes.

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Made in the hilly Monferrato region of Piedmont, the vines are 30 years old plus, and had been abandoned for 15 years before the winemaker, Fabrizio Iuli, took them back. The idea is to make a fresh, fairly natural Barbera. Farming is organic, harvest is by hand, and the wine undergoes a natural ambient fermentation in concrete tank, where it also ages for around nine months. The result is an elegant yet juicy style of Barbera, showing attractive cherry and blueberry notes and an impressive finish.

Brich saw a short 12-hour maceration in concrerte vats, 70% destemmed, fermentation with native yeasts, aged in concrete vats for 9 months, neither fined nor filtered and a mere 2mg of SO2 added at bottling.

A collaboration between Fabrizio Iuli and Eric Narioo (Vino dio Anna, Les Caves de Pyrene) in hilly Monferrato region of Piedmont. The grapes for this Barbera come from the lieux-dit “La Tina”, belonging to Fabrizio’s family for generations, formerly part of their old winery. The vines are 30 years old plus, and had been abandoned for 15 years before Fabrizio took them back. The climate there is continental, the soils consist of mixed clay-limestone, mostly white calcareous, with some lime.