Notes from my visit on December 15, 2009.

Giacoma Bologna’s “Braida” is primarily a Barbera winery.  They’re famous for it and do an amazing job at making lots of different styles.  They make other cool wines too: Grignolino, Brachetto d’Aqui, Moscato d’Asti, Riesling, Chardonnay, and a blend of Chardonnay and Nasceta.  (The non-indigenous grapes here are Chardonnay and Riesling.)  I’m a bit of a nationalist (Nazi?) when it comes to grapes, and believe they should be grown where they’re from for the most part, but I decided this time to take a risk and try the Riesling.

Re di Fiori (King of Flowers) 2008.  100% Rhine Riesling.  Unmistakable Riesling nose but other notes of citrus, green apple and hay, refreshing mineral and equally as refreshing high acidity.  Evolving into more apple, pear, and dried grass.  After a little while it really just tasted like Arneis to me, which was good because I’d pretty much drink Arneis any day over Riesling.

La Monella (rebellious girl) 2008.  Barbera del Monferrato Frizzante DOC.  Slightly sparkling, fragrant, and intense sour cherry.  In my opinion, the only way to a truly appreciate such wine is to find yourself on a really hot day with an ice cold glass of this, and be munching on some salumi and prosciutto, or maybe some cheeses and pickled vegetables.  No rating.

Montebruna (a land that speaks) 2007.  Barbera d’Asti DOCG.  Vinified in steel tanks and matured 1 year in 20-55 hl oak barrels.  I just love the Montebruna.  I’ve loved it ever since the first time, and every time since, that I tried it.  It’s the lack of oak that I love.  Fresh and clean cherry aroma over laced with chocolate aromas – and flavors.  Perfectly expressive of the grape: clean, harmonious, and fragrant.  ★ ★ ☆

Bricco dell’Uccellone (top-of-the-hill vineyard next to the black bird) 2006.  Barbera d’Asti DOCG.  15mo ageing in 225L oak, followed by 12 mo in bottle.  Rich and aromatic with a great integration of oak and the character of Barbera: intense cherry, cocoa, mint.  Deep, persistent.  ★ ★

Ai Suma (Piemonte dialect for “Here we all are” or “It’s great!”) 2006.  Barbera d’Asti DOCG.  15mo ageing in 225L oak, followed by 12 mo in bottle.  Barbera from same source as Bricco dell’Uccellone but harvested much later.  This one took me by complete surprise back in 2005 when I had it for the first time – tastes like a California Barbera!  So maybe it’s just the harvest time that makes the most difference…?  Intense, ample, and rich with a bouquet more along the lines of plums and licorice.  Warm, harmonious, and persistent.  (Three stars are not because it reminds me of Cali Barbera, it’s because the wine is awesome.)  ★ ★ ☆

I’d recommend highly a visit to the winery or if that’s not possible, try any of their wines any chance you get.  I’m sure it’s not easy to make so many different, high quality, distinctive wines out of one grape!  But they do it wonderfully.

2 thoughts on “Braida

  1. Oh yes! Vajra is on the top of my list for favorite Piemontese Rieslings, along with Germano Ettore. Also I like Oddero Collaretto (actually mostly Chardonnay), Anna Maria Abbona L’Alman Riesling… and then actually the Chardonnay from Conterno Fantino fatto solo in acciao (made only in stainless steel) is great too. Very fresh and light.

  2. Although I love the iPad version, commenting on it does not work… Anyway, thanks for pointimg me to the other wines of Braida. i have had multiple vintages of the Bricco dell’Uccellone, but the other Barberas are new to me. Need to try them out! I’m sorry that you have not fallen for Riesling, I’m totallly in love with the grape… Btw Vajra make a decent Riesling. Nothing to compete with the top wines from German, Austria and Alsace, but a decent effort. While I like experimentation I always end up preferring native varietals…

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