2014 Ca' del Baio "Paolina" Barbera d'Alba

SKU #1230165

Ca' del Baio is the labor of love of four generations of family producers. The Grasso family manages the 22 hectare vineyard and winery based in Treiso. They follow a hands-on winemaking philosophy founded in the belief that great wine is made in the vineyards; these hand-tended Barbera vines were planted in 1995. The Grassos have been able to successfully integrate new technology into their traditional methods to produce wines today that showcase the unique terroir characteristics of the Langhe. This Barbera bottling undergoes a controlled fermentation in stainless steel before being aged for one year in oak casks. The wine is deep ruby with a fruity nose of red currant and raspberry. Fresh and bright on the palate, the fruit reverberates through the finish.

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Price: $18.99
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Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/4/2016 | Send Email
I bought this initially at the advice of a fellow K&L employee. I was leaning towards a mineral-driven Mt. Etna wine, or at least something earthy and bright to pair with pasta; he’d just had a bottle of the Paolina and was singing its praises. If he’d told me up front that it would show such lively blueberry fruit on the nose, I might not have gone for it, but it turns out that an open mind here led to an incredibly enjoyable experience. Aromatic with vibrant juicy fruit, tons of lift, sneaky delicate herbal notes, and a surprisingly long finish, this was more intense than expected from Barbera and evolved throughout the night. Sophisticated yet easy going, high quality, and under twenty bucks – Ca’ Del Baio delivers a gorgeous winner here.

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- Thanks goodness for Italy's wine revolution! If not for the intrepid producers who reduced yields and focused their energy on improving quality in Italian wine production, we may have never known how delicious Barbera could be. Native to Italy, Piedmont's Monferrato is most often cited as its birthplace (though others argue that Oltrepò Pavese in Lombardy is its rightful home) with records of vineyard plantings dating back as far as 1246. Best known and most planted in its dark-skinned iteration (there is a white version of the grape called Barbera Bianca), the world's top Barberas come from Piedmont's Alba, Asti and Monferrato DOCs and styles can vary significantly depending on climate and soil. But you can always count on Barbera for its distinct ruby red color, vibrant acidity and mild tannins. Juicy red fruit and hints of smokiness are also common characteristics. Grown elsewhere in Italy, Barbera is used in varietal wines and as a blending grape to varying degrees of success. Outside of Italy it has also been planted extensively in North and South America, but most successfully in California, where it was planted by Italian immigrants and long, warm growing seasons give this late-harvest varietal the chance to develop complex flavors to compete with its racy acidity.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.