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Our Italian House Wines: Ca del Baio


Ca del Baio WineryCa del Baio is one of my favorite wineries, period. I love Italian wine, and drink tons of their Barbera, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, and Chardonnay at home. For character, quality, and price, they can’t be beat.

We’re hosting Paola and Valentina Grasso from Ca del Baio for a special tasting at our store this Saturday. Since most of you won’t have the chance to taste with us Saturday, I want to share these amazing values with you, so I’ve put together a sampler case for 15% off! Tasting their wines whisks me back to a sunny afternoon spent at the winery. – Marcus

3 Barbera d’Alba Paolina 2011 ($12.95)
3 Nebbiolo Langhe 2011 ($14.95)
2 Barbaresco Asili 2009 ($35.95)
2 Barbaresco Valgrande 2009 ($32.95)
2 Chardonnay 2012 ($14.95)
You save $37.71

Ca del Baio
Barbera d’Alba Paolina 2011
in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($12.95)
It always makes sense to have a Barbera in the house – such a versatile wine. The Paolina, from one of my favorite Barbaresco producers, has tons of charming fruit and food-friendly acidity. You can pair this with just about anything, from roasted chicken to pizza, and it makes a great party wine too. Extremely case-worthy!

Ca del Baio Nebbiolo Langhe 2011

in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($14.95)
I’ll spare you the flowery descriptions – Ca del Baio is giving this wine away! I can’t recall a Nebbiolo that has been so full of character for the money. This is going to be my daily drinker until it’s gone. It stood up to a grilled ribeye last night – can’t wait to try it with another dinner.

Wine Advocate 94 Points
Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2009
in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($35.95)
The 2009 Barbaresco Asili caresses the palate with soft, open fruit and a resonant personality that is quite striking. The essence of red berries, rose petals and sweet spices blossom in the glass. This is an especially vibrant style for the year, with excellent freshness, color and balance. Firm tannins support a highly attractive, delineated finish. The 2009 should be an absolute beauty in another few years, once the tannins soften. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. – Antonio Galloni

Wine Advocate 92+ points

Ca del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2009

in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ( $32.95)
The 2009 Barbaresco Valgrande is considerably more powerful and muscular than the Asili. Leather, iron, scorched earth, tar and smoke all emerge from this decidedly virile, imposing Barbaresco. Here, too, the wine’s balance is impeccable. The Valgrande isn’t quite as fleshy as the Asili, but it is perhaps a bit more complex and certainly more structured. All around, this is a lovely wine, even if it is something of a brute today. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. – Antonio Galloni

Ca del Baio Langhe Chardonnay Luna d’Agosto 2012
in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($14.95)
Unoaked Chardonnay from Italy’s Piedmont – damn straight. One of the wines I look most forward to this time of year, it’s fresh like spring. Clean, citrus flavors aren’t overly complex, they’re just perfect. This will make you long for warm, long days.

below, the road to Ca del Baio

the road to Ca del Baio


Ca del Baio is a tiny family winery in Treiso, a village near Barbaresco and just north of Alba in Italy’s northwestern Piedmonte region. Their wines are made from Nebbiolo, sometimes called the “diva” of Italian grapes – temperamental, low yielding and late ripening, often compared to Pinot noir in its variability.

Ca del Baio is owned by the Grasso family. Giulio Grasso is assisted by his three lively daughters, Paola, Valentina, and Federica, continuing a four generation tradition starting with founder Luigi Grasso.

The Grassos own vineyards located both at the winery (45 acres) and in the nearly villlage of Asili, respected as one of the best grape growing areas in the region. While best known for their Nebbiolo based wines, they also grow Dolcetto and Barbera and make a Chardonnay as well.

below, Barbaresco and the towns where Ca del Baio’s vineyards are located

Ca del Baio map

The Grasso’s home and winery are situated in Treiso. Their cru Barbaresco vineyards are located in Treiso (Valgrande and Marcarini make up 25 hectares, the bulk of their holdings) and the town of Barbaresco proper (Asili and Pora vineyards). The winery produces about 8000 cases a year, about 4000 of which are Nebbiolo and the rest are a combination of Dolcetto, Barbera, Chardonnay, and a bit of Moscato.

The Grassos farm their vineyards using “agricultura integrata” – roughly equivalent to Oregon’s sustainable practices. Minimal chemicals are used on the soil and the winemaking usually uses naturally occuring yeasts. Consulting winemaker Beppe Caviola (Ca’Viola Winery, “Winemaker of the Year” 2002 Gambero Rosso) has consulted with the Grasso family for two decades with tremendous success. Ca del Baio has received the highest ratings from Gambero Rosso, and high scores from Wine Advocate, for their very reasonably priced wines.

below, three generations of the Grasso family

three generations of Grasso family

below, Ca del Baio’s cellars

town of Barbaresco

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