Press Reviews

La Spinetta Barbera D'Asti Superiore Bionzo DOCG

The Bionzo is a big, concentrated, dense Barbera produced from old vines in Costigliole d’Asti. Nearly 18 months in oak (plus six in stainless steel and bottle), delivers an incredibly rich, structured wine with a plethora of perfumes including black cherry, cassis, gravel, smoke, chocolate, liquorice and menthol. Broad and silky with an incredibly depth of flavor, the characteristic richness of the Bionzo complements its acidity, finishing with smooth, slightly oaky tannins and a whole range of dark spices. This isn’t your average Barbera, this is a wine that will continue to evolve for 20-25 years.

James Suckling on 2018 vintage

A pretty and edgy barbera with dried berry and dark plum character with some earth. It's medium-bodied with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Drink now.

Wne Advocate on 2018 vintage

A very different product compared to the Barbera d'Asti Superiore Ca' di Pian, the 2018 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo shows dark and mature fruit with more oak, spice and softness. The fruit is concentrated and bold, showing broad-brush intensity with blackberry, plum and a pop of fresh acidity.

Vinous Media on 2017 vintage

The 2017 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is laced with the essence of blackberry jam, gravel, smoke, crushed rocks and menthol. This potent, structured Barbera from Asti needs a few years to unwind, but it is impressive. Like the Gallina, the Bionzo shows a transition to a style that is a bit less overt than in the past, but without sacrificing the intensity La Spinetta fans have come to expect. I would give the tannins a few years to soften.

Wine Advocate on 2017 vintage

Packed tight with black fruit and dried blackberry, the 2017 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is an inky and darkly concentrated expression that brings on all the rich fruit of the vintage. There are subtle hints of spice, tar and campfire ash at the rear, but this vintage will be remembered for the depth and intensity of all that black primary fruit.

Vinous Media on 2016 vintage

The 2016 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is a super-clasic Asti Barbera with wonderfully delineated flavors and plenty structure. Clean mineral notes, spice, dried flowers, menthol and graphite all run through this potent yet super-refined Barbera that cries for cold weather and bold, lusty food on the table. When I think about what Asti Barbera should be, the Bionzo often comes to mind.

Wine Advocate on 2016 vintage

Bionzo is a vineyard site in Costigliole d'Asti planted to vines aged 80 years old or more. The La Spinetta 2016 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is a bold wine that offers generous fruit, but then it pulls back with care to show elegance and complexity. The vibrant character of the fruit shines bright, as does the softness and textural richness of this vintage. Dried plum, blackberry and sweet cherry are backed by baking spice, tilled earth and cedar wood.

James Suckling on 2016 vintage

This is a fabulously polished Barbera with dark-berry and violet aromas and flavors. What strikes you is the wonderfully silky texture to this with a driven and focused finish. Such beauty. Drink now.

Vinous Media on 2015 vintage

The 2015 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is dark, powerful and incredibly structured. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, chocolate, licorice and menthol are some of the many notes that run through this huge, concentrated Asti Barbera. Rich and also remarkably vivid, the 2015 has so much to offer. Crushed rocks, blackberry jam, menthol licorice and a whole range of dark spices build in this super-concentrated, dense Barbera from old vines in Costigliole d'Asti.

James Suckling on 2015 vintage

Aromas of blackcurrants, earth and cut grass. Full body, a dense and compact texture and a deep, long finish. Delicious and juicy. Lost of fruit and texture. Drink now or hold.

Wine Advocate on 2014 vintage

Barbera enthusiasts should drop whatever they are doing and actively seek this wine. The 2014 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is a creation of inspiration and beauty—and not just because it defies logic that such a sumptuous wine could be made during a growing season that was harder on the Barbera grape above all. This is not the first rodeo for these old vines. Some sort of internal plant institutional memory has cleverly guided these vines though adverse growing conditions. Of these old vines, up to 20% are still planted on their original root stock, and those roots have penetrated profound depths. Indeed, this wine opens to an inky black, impenetrable appearance. Dark fruit aromas float slowly to the top. Efforts have been made to keep the alcohol low, but this powerful wine still registers 14.5% alcohol. Because of severe fruit selection, only 1,500 bottles were made in 2014, down from an average of 3,000 in an average vintage. This is a lovely wine.

James Suckling on 2014 vintage

Some blackberry and blueberry character. Dried mushroom understones. Full body, layered and rich with lots of ripe tannins and flavorful finish. Drink now.

Vinous Media on 2013 vintage

The highlight in this range, the 2013 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is fabulous. Fresh cut flowers, mint, raspberry jam, rose petal and graphite give the 2013 much of its racy, layered personality. The Bionzo possesses exceptional energy and tension for such a big Barbera. Make no mistake about it: Bionzo is one of Piedmont's most distinctive wines. The 2013 is a fabulous edition.

James Suckling on 2012 vintage

A really excellent barbera with plenty of dried berries such as blueberries and blackberries. Full body, round tannins and a crisp, flavorful finish. I could drink the whole bottle myself.

James Suckling on 2011 vintage

A layered, fruity wine with violet, berry and dark-chocolate character. Full body, silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows depth. Drink now.

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri on 2009 vintage

Received the rating of 3 Glasses for extraordinary wines

Wine Advocate on 2009 vintage

Another totallt gorgeous wine, the 2009 Barbera d'Asti Bionzo stands out for its exceptional pedigree. Layers of creamy, generous fruit wrap around the palate with lovely intensity that nearly buries the trademark of Asti acidity. But it is there, as is everything else, so the wine will drink beautifully for a number of years. Violets, cloves, pencil shavings and crushed rocks frame the long intensely saline finish. This is another impressive effort. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

Vinous Media on 2009 vintage

(from 65- and 80-year-old vine): Bright ruby. Super ripe aromas of black fruits, violet, mint, menthol and licorice. Then juicy and firm in the mouth; less round and more angular than the Gallina, conveying a much stronger impression of calcaire minerality. Finishes with more structure and force.

Wine Advocate on 2008 vintage

The 2008 Barbera d'Asti Bionzo comes across as a bit closed in on itself. Intense mineral notes frame blackberries, sweet herbs and spices in this powerful, concentrate Barbera. Today the wine is a bit compact, but if it fills out might merit a higher score. The 2008 is very Asti in its slightly austere, reserved personality. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. This is a superb set of wines from Giorgio Rivetti. The 2008 Barbareschi are among the strongest wines of the year, while the 2007 Barolo Campe is the best wine to merge form Rivetti's vineyards in Grinzane Cavour. The La Spinetta style focusing on wines of great textural richness remains intact, but is dealed in to a greater degree with each passing vintage.

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri on 2007 vintage

Received the rating of 3 Glasses for extraordinary wines

Wine Advocate on 2007 vintage

The 2007 Barbera d'Asti Superiore Bionzo is lacd with dark red fruits, graphite, spices and grilled herbs. The acidity of Asti is balanced by a vibrant, expressive core of dark red fruit in a style that is touch more linear than the Gallina. In the most vintages I prefer the Bionzo over the Gallina, but in 2007 the Bionzo seems to fall just a touch flat. The Bionzo spent 16-18 months in French oak prior to being bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017. This is a high successful set of new releases from La Spinetta. The wines show great balance and class across the board.

Vinous Media on 2005 vintage

(form 50-year old vines purchased in 2003; aged in all new barriques. Deep ruby color. Pungent aromas of blackberry and bitter chocolate. Sappy black and integrated oak flavors sharply framed by penetrating acidity. This boasts lovely inner- mouth aromatic character and mineral energy from the limestone-rich soil. Finishes with substantial tongue-dusting tannins. The crop level was just 18 hectoliters per hectare, according to Rivetti. Drink this now with full- flavored meat or hold it for five years.

Wine Spectator on 2005 vintage

Offers loads of crushed berry, with undertone of vanilla and green tea. Full-bodied, with big, round tannins and plenty of fruits. Balanced and luscious. Drink now. 2,950 cases made, 1,900 cases imported.

Wine Spectator on 2004 vintage

Juicy and fruity, with blackberry, licorice and light meat character. Full-bodied, with lots of fruits and a bright finish. Drink now. 2,915 cases made, 1,700 cases imported.

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri on 2004 vintage

Received the rating of 3 Glasses for extraordinary wines

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri on 2003 vintage

Received the rating of 3 Glasses for extraordinary wines

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri on 2000 vintage

Received the rating of 3 Glasses for extraordinary wines

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