Wine Review: The Barbera Trilogy #1 – Coppo, Barbera d’Asti “L’Avvocata” 2011 DOCG

Disclaimer: this review is of a sample that I received from the producer’s US importer. My review has been conducted in compliance with my Samples Policy and the ISA wine tasting protocol and the opinions I am going to share on the wine are my own.

In the next three posts we will review and discover the three Barbera’s in the Coppo range that are imported into the US: L’Avvocata, Camp du Rouss, and the flagship Pomorosso.

In this post, we will start from Coppo‘s entry-level Barbera, “L’Avvocata”, a fancy name which literally means “the female lawyer”(!)

The Bottom Line

Overall, CoppoBarbera d’Asti “L’Avvocata” 2011 DOCG ($15) was a solid, “clean” entry-level Barbera, with a great price point for the quality it delivers. Needless to say, and to state the obvious, the Pomorosso it is not, but L’Avvocata is still a very enjoyable wine to pair with pasta dishes with meat-based sauces or veal-based dishes.

Rating: Good to Very Good and Recommended, considering its great QPR Good to Very Good – $

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

About the Grape and the Appellation

Barbera is a grape variety that is indigenous to the Monferrato district in the north Italian region of Piemonte. The first written references to Barbera date back to the end of the XVIII century. Nowadays it is the most widespread grape variety in Piemonte, from which wines are made that display lively acidity and a deep ruby color.

In Piemonte, Barbera is the main grape of four different appellations:

  • Barbera d’Asti DOCG (encompassing an area surrounding the towns of Asti and Alessandria, and requiring the use of 90% or more of Barbera grapes and a minimum aging of 4 months for the base version or 14 months, of which at least 6 months in wood barrels, for the “Superiore” version);
  • Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG (encompassing the Monferrato district near Alessandria and an area near the town of Asti, requiring the use of 85% or more of Barbera grapes and a minimum aging of 14 months, of which at least 6 months in wood barrels)
  • Barbera d’Alba DOC (encompassing an area in the vicinities of the town of Cuneo and requiring the use of 85% or more of Barbera grapes)
  • Barbera del Monferrato DOC (encompassing the Monferrato district near Alessandria and an area near the town of Asti, requiring the use of 85% or more of Barbera grapes)

Given its wide distribution, Barbera is produced in a variety of styles, ranging from simpler, “younger” versions that are only aged in steel vats to more structured and evolved versions that are aged in oak barrels, including sometimes barrique casks.

(Information on the grape variety taken from Wine Grapes, by Robinson-Harding-Vouillamoz, Allen Lane 2012 – for more information about grape varieties, check out our Grape Variety Archive)

About the Producer and the Estate

You may find information regarding the producer, Coppo, and the estate in the first post of this series of reviews of the Coppo lineup.

Our Detailed Review

As we said at the beginning of this post, the wine we are going to review today, Coppo, Barbera d’Asti “L’Avvocata” 2011 DOCG, is the entry-level Barbera in the Coppo lineup: it has 14% ABV and retails in the US for an attractive price of $15.

L’Avvocata is made from 100% Barbera grapes grown in the estate vineyards around the town of Canelli, in Piemonte’s Monferrato district. The wine is fermented in stainless steel vats, goes through malolactic fermentation and is aged in large French oak barrels (therefore, not barriques) for 6 to 8 months. L’Avvocata is a Barbera that is not meant for aging (although some cellaring will certainly not hurt!): it is released ready to be enjoyed.

As usual, for my review I will use a simplified version of the ISA wine tasting protocol that we described in a previous post: should you have doubts as to any of the terms used below please refer to that post for a refresher.

In the glass, L’Avvocata poured ruby red with purple hints and thick when swirled.

On the nose, its bouquet was intense, quite complex and fine, with pleasant aromas of wild cherries, redcurrant, ground coffee, wet soil and hints of tobacco.

In the mouth, the wine was dry, warm and smooth; fresh, tannic (with present but pleasantly supple, well integrated tannins despite the young age) and tasty. It was medium-bodied and balanced, with intense and fine mouth flavors that nicely matched its bouquet. The finish was quite long and the evolutionary state ready (i.e., absolutely fine to drink right away, probably even better if you let it rest a couple more years in your cellar).


19 thoughts on “Wine Review: The Barbera Trilogy #1 – Coppo, Barbera d’Asti “L’Avvocata” 2011 DOCG

  1. Dina

    Dear Stefano,
    the Piemont is such a lovely landscape. It’d be great to spend the evening there with delicious pasta and try the tasty wines you present. Enjoy your weekend,
    big hug, Dina

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Dina! I agree, Piemonte is a nice region with a pleasant landscape, good food and wine. Not a bad deal! 🙂
      Have a great weekend too!

    1. Stefano Post author

      So good to “read you” again, Oliver! Are you back this side of the planet?
      Regarding L’Avvocata, I really think it is a nice, enjoyable, “uncomplicated” Barbera. If you manage to try a bottle, please let me know what you think about it.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

      1. the winegetter

        I know, Stefano! I have missed really being able to engage with you…it has been too long. And that is not just a thing one says. Even paradisical islands can make you long for something else. We’re back after an insanely wonderful 28 hours in Seoul. More on that in person! 🙂 Which will happen soon!!!! 😀

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you very much for your kind words! I am so happy you enjoy reading my reviews. I hope you will have the opportunity to try out some of the wines that I have reviewed and that, if you do, you let me know what you think about them!

  2. Pingback: Wine Review: The Barbera Trilogy #2 – Coppo, Barbera d’Asti “Camp du Rouss” 2009 DOCG | Clicks & Corks

  3. ChgoJohn

    This sounds like a good, solid wine, Stefano, and a steal at this price. I didn’t expect that at all. I’m going to search for this one. Thanks, Stefano.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, John: I think with this one they really got it right in terms of quality vs price ratio. If you manage to buy a bottle, let me know if you agree!

  4. Pingback: Coppo: The Winery that Reinvented Barbera | Clicks & Corks

  5. Pingback: Wine Review: The Barbera Trilogy #3 – Coppo, Barbera d’Asti “Pomorosso” 2006 DOCG | Clicks & Corks

  6. adelaidefoodies

    The greatest thing when I read your blog is that I can learn so much from you! New varieties that I’ve never touched before in academic and lots of insights! Great! Sounds like a delicious drop!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you so much, Xin! Your words just make me happy as I try hard to provide insight and information about wine (mostly Italian) and grape varieties. The fact that you enjoy reading about it makes my day.
      Thank you! 🙂


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