Barbera is one of the two signature grapes of Piedmont together with Nebbiolo. It is the grape variety behind Barbera d’Asti DOCG, Barbera d’Alba DOC and also found in a number of other Piedmontese wines. It is known for its natural high acidity and cherry flavors.
Syrah is the star of the Northern Rhone Valley and the national grape of Australia. Syrah can produce complex, spicy wines with a typical aroma of plums. In today’s article, I introduce to you a wine in which these two distinct grapes meet.
Piedmont is a food and wine lover’s paradise in northern Italy on the border with France and Switzerland. Is is home to delicious artisan cheese and wines and among the region’s most famous dishes are fried stuffed squash blossoms, vitello tonnato, gianduia, zabaione and of course its world class hazelnuts.
It is in Piedmont where Marchesi Antinori-owned winery Prunotto produces a rare blend of Barbera and Syrah in the Monferrato wine region. Monferrato is scenic and hilly, and located south of the River Po. Monferrato enjoys a continental climate and offers perfect conditions for making top quality wine.
The history of Prunotto dates back to the year 1904 when the winery was founded as a cooperative called “Ai Vini delle Langhe” by Alfredo Prunotto. A lot has changed since then. Alfredo retired from wine-making in 1956 and the winery was sold to wine expert Beppe Colla. Marchesi Antinori acquired Pruntto in 1989. Thanks to notable financial investments of the Antinori Group, Pruntto was able to acquire vineyards in other important wine areas for the production of Barbaresco and Moscato, among others.
Next to a number of Crus, Pruntto produces a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Syrah named Mompertone. It is one of the winery’s signature wines, not because of its price tag, quite the contrary because the wine retails for €15 in Germany, but because of the rather unusual blend which separates Pruntto from other wineries in the region.
Mompertone ages for approximately ten months in French barriques. The grapes are grown in a vineyard in Calliano at about 300 meters above sea level. The Syrah and Barbera grapes are fermented separatelty.
Tasting Notes 2012 Pruntto Mompertone
This blend of Barbera and Syrah shows aromas of maraschino, stewed plums, blackcurrant, espresso and spices like cocoa.
On the palate, Mompertone is medium-bodied. This Monferrato DOC wine has soft, well-integrated tannins and a medium acidity, typical for Barbera. It has a good structure, a rich concentration of red fruit and is elegant. Warm, long-lasting aftertaste.
The 2012 vintage comes with a label-indicated ABV of 14%.
Prunotto’s Mompertone is a good-value wine from Monferrato which combines the best of Barbera and Syrah. Pairs well with a number of dishes and has some aging potential. The wine is exported by the Antinori Group worldwide.
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Have you tried Mompertone or other Barbera-Syrah blends before? Let us know in the comment section below.