100% Barbera. Located in commune of Agliano Terme within Asti, Agostino Pavia is a Barbera specialist. Unlike with many Piedmont producers where Nebbiolo is the focus and Barbera can be treated as an afterthought, here Barbera is king. Agostino Pavia, convinced of the quality of Barbera in this region, began purchasing top vineyards in the 1950s, as many were abandoning vineyards in Piedmont and moving to cities for work. The vineyards are situated between 240 and 260 meters in altitude, and the soils are sand mixed with clay. Pavia is very much a family affair, with Agostino’s two sons Giuseppe and Mauro now handling much of the cellar work and sales. But it is still Agostino who walks the vineyards during harvest, tasting the grapes, and deciding when to pick. They employ a sustainable farming philosophy that Mauro refers to as “buon senso” (common sense): all vineyard work done manually, integrated pest management, cover crops between rows, etc. ‘Blina’ is the name of the vineyard. Planted between 1970 and 2005, the wine is aged in stainless steel. This wine is a direct, straightforward rendition of the Barbera grape. Fresh acidity and berry flavors are the hallmarks of Barbera, but low yields and old vines give this wine very good depth and concentration, too. Blina has a bright red color in the glass, with a violet rim; aromas of red berries and mineral; the palate is classic Barbera, bright raspberry/cranberry flavors with a very long finish. Rigorous attention to detail, combined with ideal exposure in the vineyards, allows Pavia to produce Barberas of uncommon complexity and precision. One of our favorite producers in Italy.