Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Monferrato, extensive DOC in the hills to the east of Turin in the provinces of Asti and Alesssandria in Piemonte. Traditionally known for light and often sparkling Barbera del Monferrato, lately the region’s wines have gained in quality resulting in the elevation of Barbera del Monferrato Superiore to docg, entailing 14 months of ageing as well as a higher alcoholic content compared with that of the normal DOC. While Monferrato serves as an overarching DOC, allowing also for the production of international varieties, which, however, cannot be mentioned on labels, the region boasts a handful of interesting smaller denominations dedicated to local varieties. Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC is a pale and tannic red regularly offering more interest than most italian rosés; Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG, a rare, aromatic red wine with classic Piemontese tannic structure; and Strevi, a sweet wine made from dried Moscato grapes, while Monferrato Casalese is a dry white made from Cortese and not unlike Gavi. Although Monferrato is overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours, notably the Langhe, its highly original wine styles deserve more attention.