February 2019 Selection

Monferrato: the traditional is exalted, not disavowed

February 2019 Selection

Bonzano Monferrato Rosso Hosteria 2017 (2 bottles)
Gaudio Grignolino Mondalino 2017 (2 bottles)
Accornero Barbera Monferrato Bricco Battista 2014 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £95.29
Club Discount Price: £83.87
You save: £11.42 (11.98%)

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About this selection...

The historical Italian region, located in a strategic position and therefore at the centre of numerous conflicts for its control, Monferrato is a complex reality from the wine perspective, in part still undiscovered. Land with gentle and generous but also proud hills, Monferrato appears to be in a continuous landscape with the Langhe, with which it shares its membership in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet the viticultural landscape is very different.

Located further east than the Langhe, but still in Piedmont, straddling the provinces of Asti and Alessandria, the Monferrato wine area excels above all in the south-facing vineyards on calcareous-clayey white soils, which are rather poor and capable of producing wine of high distinction, sometimes exceptionally structured and long-lasting.

The best district, which includes the western part of Alessandria, the southern Asti part and the Casalese area, produces wines that can easily match the wines from the Langhe. They are above all reds, with Barbera at the helm, which is the most representative Monferrato grape. The protagonist of many small denominations and of the Nizza Monferrato cru, Barbera, here, has gone from the traditional sparkling wine to the character of the strong still wine from aging.

Not the ideal area for Nebbiolo, Monferrato is the native cradle of increasingly popular vines, such as the Ruché, typical of northern Asti (land of more ready-to-drink and delicate wines), and Grignolino, another vine that, from purely easy-to-drink, has shown its colours as a wine which is robust and which can be aged. A whimsical wine with splendidly rustic features, Grignolino is the ideal counterbalance to the enveloping and seductive Barbera: you must try them together!

Dolcetto, Cortese, Freisa, Malvasia Nera, Moscato Bianco and a wealth of other vines complete a wine landscape of extraordinary heterogeneity. And the Monferrato Rosso? An everyday wine, where the protagonists of the territory often meet highly integrated international grapes.

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Bonzano Monferrato Rosso Hosteria 2017 (2 bottles)

Red. Bonzano Monferrato, Italy Pinot Noir, Barbera

Bottle: £11.67 club members / £13.27 non-members


In the Casale Monferrato district, Tenuta della Mandoletta estate is the great challenge which the Bonzano family has successfully met. Here Enrico, with the fundamental assistance of his passionate wife Simonetta Ghia and oenologist Donato Lanati, in 2011 created a wine reality among the most dynamic and suggestive of Monferrato. Within the evocative landscape of hill vineyards and infernots (underground rooms hand carved into the stone for storing wine) dug into the rock, Monferrato, in the Bonzano interpretation, offers agile and pleasant wines, with evident varietal characteristics and of particularly marked elegance.

The Hosteria label, the house Monferrato Rosso, is made by Donato Lanati, and represents the core of the production philosophy of this wine: "We wanted to call this wine Hosteria, but in the same way it could be called Incontro or Amicizia. Throughout the whole twentieth century the Osteria was the main place for meeting and socialisation, but above all of hospitality, hence the name. This elegant and simple wine, refined and light, was designed to please everyone, connoisseurs and non- connoisseurs, to bring joy and harmony to those who drink it".

The unique 7-hectare body of the Mandoletta, the result of the skilful recovery of this corner of Monferrato, therefore produce easy-to-drink wine, capable of extracting the most convivial features from the low and gentle hills of the territory and their harmonious climate. Known for its scientifically rigorous orientation, with Hosteria Lanati wanted to create the ideal union between the native Barbera and the international Pinot Nero, enhancing in a complementary and harmonious way the polyphenolic structure of the former and the tannic and aromatic elegance of the latter. The result is a wine of a beautiful, vivid ruby colour, with a delicate bouquet in its fragrant floral notes and fresh red fruit. It is a wine which is easy to drink and great for social events, fresh and minerally but at the same time dynamic and juicy.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Bonzano Monferrato Rosso Hosteria 2017
Front and back

Gaudio Grignolino Mondalino 2017 (2 bottles)

Red. Gaudio Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese, Italy Grignolino

Bottle: £8.96 club members / £10.18 non-members


The story of Grignolino is the typical one of the "minor" Piedmontese vine, which was once purely simple and pleasant but whose reputation is now considered superior and apt for even the most elaborate dishes. Characterised by grapevines which are particularly abundant in size and quantity, the Grignolino, if not properly vinified, tends indeed to possess a rough and nervous tannicity, to the detriment of elegance. For this reason, traditionally, it was not considered a very noble wine, and even, due to its extreme verticality, an antiseptic to be administered as a medicine.

Today Grignolino has a whole other personality, as modern winemaking techniques have brought to light its much more complex varietal character. Especially when, as in the case of Gaudio's Grignolino, the aging takes place exclusively in steel, for 6 months, without resorting to the softening in wood.

From vineyards located in a privileged position in the municipality of Vignale Monferrato, which can be considered a cru of the Casalese region for this vine, this Grignolino is of a beautiful ruby ​​colour leaning towards a clear garnet. On the nose it immediately expresses great finesse, with notes of small red fruits interspersed with spicy and floral scents, which also tends towards aromatic herbs such as thyme. The taste, which its certain juvenile rudeness typical of the variety, later becomes more balanced, with a thick but not rough tannin. The structure is light and thin, leaving a nice and sapid memory with declarations of a splendid drinkability.

Try it with cold cuts and medium-seasoned cheeses, or with tortellini in broth, mixed boiled meats, roast meat and aged cheeses. It’s also perfect with particularly rich fish soups.

Cooked pork products

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Gaudio Grignolino Mondalino 2017
Front and back

Accornero Barbera Monferrato Bricco Battista 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Accornero Barbera del Monferrato, Italy Barbera

Bottle: £21.30 club members / £24.20 non-members


Barbera Superiore from the Accornero winery is a landmark for lovers of this vine, which year after year has received important awards like Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri. A Monferrato excellence, an area traditionally focused on an elegant, fruity and subtle Barbera, Bricco Battista actually turns out to be a wine of decisive character, with a personality to challenge any preconception.

Produced since 1989, so a pioneer of the best Barbera, Bricco Battista has a typical colour, intense ruby with slight purple shades. But it's on the nose that the prolonged ageing in Tonneaux pays off, releasing, besides persuasive notes of jammy red fruits and slightly withered red flowers, a beautiful spicy and toasted undertone, in which coffee and sweet tobacco prevail.

The taste, backed by a freshness and an almost surprising pungent richness of flavour and enormous consistency, is characterized by an opulent and juicy character, supported at the same time by a perfectly silky and polished tannin. Red fruits and jams, along with the balsamic texture, reappear at the end, leaving the taster with an exceptional feeling of cleanliness and smoothness, which means it's difficult to stop drinking it.

Lamb with fine herbs / roasted poultry

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Accornero Barbera Monferrato Bricco Battista 2014
Front and back

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