Forteto della Luja "Mon Ross" Barbera d'Asti 2018
Welcome to Forteto della Luja, a World Wildlife Fund "Oasis" Site in the Disney-like village of Loazzolo in Piedmont. Giovanni and Silvia Scaglione, siblings and co-proprietors, inherited the estate from their father Giancarlo, and reside on the postcard property in the village of Loazzolo, some of the highest slopes in all of Piedmont.
Despite any formal certifications, Forteto della Luja is one of the most "natural" and hands-off estates you'll find in the world. That's not hyperbole – the estate is a designated World Wildlife Fund "Oasis" site for the numerous species of orchids that grow exclusively in this area and nowhere else in the world. They farm holistically and organically, utilizing horse-driven plow, owl boxes, and natural soil composts and are 100% solar powered (the first in Piedmont!). They cultivate a "mother yeast," akin to sourdough starter, to start fermentation. Grapes are pressed in a 100-year-old screw press, by hand, and fermented naturally in large, old casks in a stone subterranean cellar underneath the family house.
Their "Mon Ross" Barbera is crafted in this fashion. Pleasingly fresh and bright, this juicy red overdelivers with baskets of red and black plum, Morello cherry, dusty earth, violet blossoms, and bunches of sweet and savory herbs. And despite Barbera's propensity for high alcohols and over-extraction, it sits at a perfect, natural 13.5% abv. Immensely pleasing, affordable, and fresh. Just too good for a mere $20.
Forteto's wines are made virtually the same as they were a century ago, with the surrounding ecology and environmental impact considered every step of the way. Family-run, hand-made, and a truly special wine you can enjoy any day of the week. Enjoy!