Barbera d’Asti Superiore Passum View larger

Barbera d’Asti Superiore Passum, Cascina Castlet

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BARBERA D’ASTI SUPERIORE PASSUM

D.O.C.

Label

A wine whose memory will not fade, indelible like the large screen-printed symbol fired into the wall of its bottle, an ancient phi, perhaps, a sun, or is it a mandala?

Name

Passum harks back to wines praised by the ancients, wines that were the result of lengthy maturation or semi-drying of the grapes

Vine

Barbera, the age-old variety native to the Asti country, which gives of its best on the steep and sun-kissed slopes of this splendid area. The grapes used to make Passum come from long-established, vineyards whose serried ranks of vines produce an average of about 6 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare. Scrupulous selection means that only 4 to 4.5 tonnes are used to produce 2,500-2,700 litres of this wine

Harvesting

The grapes are picked by hand by the middle of October, meticulously selected and immediately placed in small perforated boxes for semi-drying in special air-conditioned, well-ventilated rooms. The duration of this process is determined by the weather and varies from one year to another. Frequent inspections are carried out by an oenologist to check the condition of the bunches and the sugar concentration of the grapes

Vinification

The stalkless grapes are pressed and then allowed to ferment in contact with the skins in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. The addition of selected yeasts, a constant temperature of about 25°C and frequent remontages promote regular alcoholic fermentation over the course of 15-18 days. The wine is then racked and kept in ideal conditions for the correct completion of its malolactic fermentation

Refinement and storage

Maturation in both French oak barriques and medium-sized conventional vats for about a year is followed by the acquisition of finesse in bottle for another six or more months before Passum is placed on the market. When stored at a constant 15°C, its extraordinary characteristics enable it to be kept for about ten years

Organoleptic characteristics

Deep garnet colour, with the limpidity and warm, intense sheen of garnet turning to ruby that are the assurance of great richness and a powerful structure. Broad, elegant and lingering bouquet with hints of plum and redcurrant jam. Warm, austere palate that underscores Passum's generosity and fullness. Its notable harmony and balance are enhanced by tannins that soften to sweetness and by a pleasant sapidity. Very intense and long-lasting aroma typical of great, long-aging wines

Alcohol content

14-14.5% by volume

Serving suggestions and accompaniments

Best served at 18°C in large crystal glasses either from the bottle or from a carafe. Passum is regarded as a wine to drink in meditation. It makes its best showing, however, as the companion of meat courses forming the pieces de resistance of both classic and local cuisines: excellent with braised meats and game, ideal with mature cheeses and dishes prepared with truffles

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Barbera d’Asti Superiore Passum, Cascina Castlet

Barbera d’Asti Superiore Passum, Cascina Castlet

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