You’ve seen the word “Barolo” in this review and you’re probably thinking that this is going to be an article about the legendary king of wines.
But then you see the words Moscato d’Asti and you maybe start to feel a little bit confused. After all, Barolo isn’t a sparkling Italian wine. It’s one of the most famous Italian red wines.
What on Earth is going on?
The truth is that this is a review about a sparkling wine that comes from one of the most prestigious Barolo producers in all of Italy.
Hopefully that clears things up a little!
Marchesi di Barolo has a long history that’s steeped in the most famous of Italian red wines. And while we’re going to dig into a little bit of that history in this review, we’re actually going to look at one of the many other wines that the estate produces beyond Barolo.
For some Barolo producers, the story starts with a love of this great wine that eventually transformed into a passion for creating it.
But for Marchesi di Barolo, the story stretches back much further than that.
Though Barolo, in one form or another, has been known as the king of wines for centuries, it’s only during the last 200 years or so that Italian winemakers have nailed down a specific process for producing it.
Marchesi di Barolo’s story goes back all of the way to the origin point of the wine that we know as Barolo today. Located in the historical city that bears the wine’s name, The estate is nestled in between the gentle hills of Langhe and has produced wine in earnest for over two centuries.
It was in that very estate, and the cellars that it is most famous for, that the Barolo we love today was actually born. Indeed, it was Marchesi di Barolo’s work that led to the standardisation of the recipe for modern Barolo. And it was through this company that the king of wines finally received an official name.
Interestingly, the story of the estate, and by extension Barolo, actually starts in France. It was here that Carlo Tancredi Falletti, the Marquis of Barolo, met and married Juliette Colbert de Maulévrier.
A noblewoman in her own right, Juliette’s family had ties to France’s great Sun King as her great-grandfather served as his minister of finance. Perhaps this was a portent of what was to come from the new family’s wine estate in the following years.
Upon arriving in Barolo, it was Juliette who saw the great potential that the wines of the region had. These were wines that were fit for a king, as they benefited immensely from the correct fermentation and ageing periods. Juliette recognised all of these regal qualities immediately and it was perhaps she who had the greatest influence on the Barolo that we all know and love today.
She also had an influence in ways that she may not have expected.
Her death in 1864 coincided with the end of the Falletti dynasty in Barolo. However, the wheels that she’d set in motion were in no danger of stopping. In the wake of her death, the Opera Pia Barolo was founded to maintain her legacy, particularly in regards to the estate’s wine production. And for several years, the organisation continued the production of the regal wines that Juliette had dedicated so much of her time to.
At around the same time, the Abbona family was starting to make waves of its own in the region. While they may not have known it at the time, the two destinies of these prestigious estates would become intertwined. And in doing so, Marchesi di Barolo would become the powerhouse of the Italian wine industry that we know it as today.
That intertwining occurred in 1929, when Pietro Abbona managed to take control of the famous estate’s cellars. Working alongside his family, he aimed to build on the powerful legacy that Juliette and Opera Pia Barolo had created.
Today, the Abbona family continues to run the estate, which is now under the stewardship of Anna and Ernesto Abbona. Together with their children, they continue to make wines of immense quality while also focusing on expanding the business in any way that they can.
It is this eye towards expansion that has also led them away from Barolo wines. That’s not to say that the company no longer produces Barolo. They do, and in great quantities. But to truly cement its legacy, Marchesi di Barolo needed to build upon its reputation and enter into other winemaking territories, much like that other great winemaking family the Antinoris.
That brings us nicely to the subject of our review. The Marchesi di Barolo Moscato d’Asti Zagara 2018 may not be a wine that you would expect to carry the Barolo name.
But when it comes to quality, this is a wine that exhibits all of the hallmarks of the best vintages to come from Marchesi di Barolo.
The Marchesi di Barolo Moscato d’Asti Zagara 2018 Review
You may not expect purveyors of fine Italian red wines to create such a wonderful sparkling wine as well.
However, the consistent perlage of the Marchesi di Barolo Moscato d’Asti Zagara 2018 should show you otherwise. From the moment you pour the wine, you can just sense a quality to it that can’t be denied.
The straw yellow wine has some flashes of golden colouring, which indicate a potential for ageing of five years, if the wine is stored correctly.
We’re sure that you won’t want to wait that long to enjoy this vintage though. And upon pouring, the intensely aromatic bouquet will indicate that you made the right choice. The floral undertones are complemented by fragrances of peach, apricot, and citrus.
To the taste, those notes come to the fore and offer a refreshing blast of flavour. The low alcohol content further adds to the experience, as it aids in creating what may be one of the best summer wines in the Xtrawine catalogue.
Our team awards it a rating of 87/100 and we definitely recommend this cost-effective wine.