Marchesi Alfieri La Tota Barbera d'Asti 2017 / barbera

Ex-Col d’Orcia winemaker Mario Olivero has revitalised this historic estate. Superb vineyard, highly refined winemaking and total belief in Barbera are the keynotes. Alfiera is the splendid top wine. Look also for the super-value Barbera La Tota. DECANTER

I’ll take any and every chance I am given to talk up this wine. Each time it is released and I have been able to write the offer I go on some long winded rant about how this is “one of Piedmont’s last hidden gems” or why I call him “the Barbera alchemist who can transfer this variety in to gold”. In recent years our customers have caught on and now La Tota sells itself so I don’t really have a job to fulfil here anymore. Although I am something of a pusher and so if I can convince a few more people every year that this is one of the wines that should be on your must have list, then I will give it a go.

I guess the one small thing I can add is that after tasting this at the estate in components and now sitting down at my desk and revisiting it in the glass I can say that this is yet another absolutely sensational expression of one of my all-time favourite top value Italian wines. That is not some sales pitch either, as one staff member pointed out recently “you look like you are one of the top customers of La Tota” I like to practice what I preach.

Over the last few years we inevitably end up having to ship this wine at least twice from Italy as the first load sells out, usually after people buy the wine and then come back and ask for more. I think we get asked about when La Tota will be back in stock as much as any other wine we deal with.

So, to all of Alfieri’s adoring fans, I introduce to you the just released 2017 La Tota. For those who may not yet be familiar with this wine let me take the chance to encourage you to get on board. It is a money back guarantee. If you like great red wine you will love this. At $35 a bottle, which is more than 20% off, in straight six packs or dozens this remains one of the greatest value prospects we offer in any given year.