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2021 Barbera d’Alba “Gens Hoelia”

Silvio Giamello

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Silvio Giamello’s Gens Hoelia is not your bright, light lunchtime Barbera. Inky in color, dark purple fruit, hints of licorice…this is a food-lover’s friend, especially in winter months. Cozy up to a bowl of slow-cooked chili or ragù and you’ll find yourself in the company of a glass that stands up to robust fare with whiffs of dusky plum and a quick grip of tannins.

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Barbera
Appellation: Barbera d’Alba
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Producer: Silvio Giamello
Winemaker: Silvio Giamello
Vineyard: 40 years average, .2 ha total
Soil: Clay with Lime-rich Marl
Aging: Wine ages in tonneaux for 10 to 15 months
Farming: Traditional
Alcohol: 15%

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About The Region

Piedmont

map of Piedmont

Kermit’s love affair with the great reds of Piemonte dates back to the early days of his career: the very first container he imported from Italy, in fact, featured legendary 1971 and 1974 Barolos from Vietti and Aldo Conterno. Regular visits since then have seen our portfolio grow to now twelve Piemontesi estates, with a strong focus on the rolling hills of the Langhe.

Nebbiolo rules these majestic, vine-covered marl slopes, giving Italy’s most mystifyingly complex, nuanced, and age-worthy reds. When crafted via traditional production methods—long macerations and extensive aging in enormous oak botti—the powerful, yet incredibly refined Barolos and Barbarescos provide haunting aromatics of tar, raspberry, incense, tea, roses, and more. At times austere in their youth but well worth the wait, they pair beautifully with the hearty local cuisine starring veal in many forms, braised beef, pastas like tajarin and agnolotti, and of course, Alba’s famous white truffles.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Piemonte’s climate is continental, with baking hot summers and cold winters. Nebbiolo is only part of the story here: juicy, fruity Barberas and Dolcettos represent the bread and butter throughout the region, and other native grapes like Freisa, Croatina, and the white Arneis are also noteworthy. Value abounds in the Monferrato, while Alto Piemonte also has its share of thrills to provide.

Every corner of Piemonte is rich with tradition, especially when wine is concerned. It’s no wonder we have been singing the region’s praises for over forty years.

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Where the newsletter started

Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

Read the whole story

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