Wine Gone Country?!

  No, I’m not talking about wine made “in the country” from watermelons by southern folk. I’m still talking Italy here. It’s more like a story about wine country that is found “at the center of the world.”

  It is a good “country” story. It all began, as in any country story, with a nickname. Braida was the name earned by Giuseppe Bologna in the fields where he played “stretch ball,” a local Piedmontese sport, every Sunday. Soon, these fields of play would become his vineyards and the family livelihood.

  Giacomo Bologna inherited these vineyards and the nickname from his father, and above all an unconditional love for his land and for his wine. A love that he passed on first to his wife Anna and later to his children, but also to all those whom he met on his life’s path. Today the company is an expanded and faithful image of the philosophy held by Giacomo and Anna – their way of understanding life, the earth, wine and friendship. It is Anna, taking the baton from Giacomo, who is forging ahead with the plans he dreamed and sketched out. For years now, she and their children, Raffaella and Beppe, have shared in brave initiatives and important investments both in the cantina and the vineyard.

   Braida is a young company in comparison to others in the region, living off great synergies, collaborations and enthusiasm that involves the whole family and all the corporate staff. For them, wine is a life plan, a way of expressing themselves through simple, authentic things like their land, and this feeling has inevitably infected their companions as well – all those who have come aboard to take part, in all respects, in this family. Is it because of this that these wines are so damn good or is it the original “country” story of a boy and his dreams?

   Today, I had the sheer pleasure to taste the new vintages from Braida along with Nadine Weingold, Export Manager for the winery.   The wines were fantastic and the company wasn’t bad either.  Check out Nadine and I here and on Facebook too!

Here are my notes:

2007 Montebruna Barbera d’Asti DOC- This big, bright and juicy Barbera is earthy and ripe- smooth and lush with a long clean finish!

 2007 IL Baciale Monferrato Rosso DOC– This is a blend of Barbera, Pinot Nero, Cabernet and Merlot.  It has deep dark red fruits with a touch of wet earth on the nose.  Truffles and herbs swirl on the palate and it ends with a crips but long finish.

 2006 Bricco dell’Uccellone Barbera d’Asti DOC-  This is my favorite wine.  Very young but it already has juicy blackberries and dry earth on the nose.  Extra lush and intense and is a bit nutty on the mid-palate.  Just simply wonderful.  Put this one away for at least 10yrs!!

2004 Ai Suma Barbera d’Asti DOC– Not for the faint of heart, this Barbera see’s  a bit more oak than the others.  Dried fruits, almost like an Amarone but not as sweet.  Very muscular and full; big black fruits and razor sharp tannins.  A new world wine lovers dream!!!

Mark Lasky

Italian Wine Specialist



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