In a nutshell: A perfectly fresh and juicy example Barbera, of one of the signature grape varieties of Piedmont.
The lowdown: The Il Cascinone estate underwent extensive replanting in the early 2000s and this bright and really tasty is a product of these young vines. And in place of the cooked jamminess sometimes found wines from round here this has is a gloriously intense, tangy, fresh and ripe fruit character balanced with savoury herby notes. It's barrique aged which contributes to the pleasingly full body making it a very satisfying wine.
When to drink: A wine that certainly over-delivers for its price bracket. Try it alongside rich beef stews, cassoulet or even belly pork.
Founded in 1920, Il Cascinone was one of the most important estates in the area of Acqui Terme in Piedmont's Monferrato hills. Dedicated to the production of Barbera d'Asti it is characterized by steep vineyards, which are difficult to manage and farm, and through the years Il Cascinone gradually fell into a state of abandon which led to a significant loss of its vineyards.
Fortunately salvation was at hand and in 1999 it was acquired by leading Piedmontese producer Araldica and has since undergone extensive restoration and replanting together with the construction of a new winemaking facility which opened in 2004. Now around 70 of the total 102 hectares of vineyards are in full production, with the warmer, southwest-facing slopes used to grow Barbera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, whilst the north east slopes are ideal for more aromatic varieties Brachetto and Moscato, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
The 'Il Cascinone' range of wines is produced with grapes sourced from Araldica's most prized vineyards, both on the estate itself and from other selected sites. All harvesting at Il Cascinone is done by hand and the expertise of the Araldica winemaking team led by Claudio Manera, Lella Burdese and their son Carlo Manera oversee all production.