2013 Cascina Ca' Rossa "Vigna Mulassa" Barbera d'Alba (Previously $30)

SKU #1357582 90 points Wine & Spirits

 Starting with saturated flavors of black cherry and plum, this gains scents of black spice, licorice and iodine that take it into a darker spectrum. Floral scents lend a delicacy to the rich fruit flavors, and a note of eucalyptus lifts the wine’s warm richness.  (12/2016)

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By: Kate Soto | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/17/2018 | Send Email
The Mulassa vineyard is located in Canale d’Alba on the Mompissano hill, where the soil is predominantly clayey. This winery ages its Barbera in big Slovenian barrels. This ruby-red wine has a sensual, plummy quality, with notes of sour cherry, sage, black pepper, and even tobacco. It vibrates with a racy acidity on the tongue. There’s a bit of grip on the finish but the overall impression is of balance. Cascina Ca' Rossa was certified organic in 2012.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2018 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is complex, with so many components it’s difficult to think which portion is dominant. The fruit quality is superb. It’s a saturated aroma, so deeply aromatic that your senses feel about to explode, yet it shows no distinct “fruitiness.” And then the spices emerge: cinnamon, clove, allspice, black pepper and coriander dominate for a second and then submerge as the earthy character jumps in. Porcini mushrooms, leather and soy take over and then subside. It is a heady experience. On the palate the wine shows focused richness. It stays on your tongue rather than being an amorphous flow. The flavors emerge, more fruit then earth and spice, and then rearrange in the next sip. This is all followed by an extraordinary finish, long and persistent; the flavors don’t seem to go away.

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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.


- 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.