Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


Rosso - 2021


4.1 / 5.0

Italy » Lombardia » IGP Provincia di Pavia
red still, dry
Croatina, Uva Rara, Ughetta
5590 UAH
not available
Barbacarlo Rosso 2021


4.1 / 5.0750 ml@Lo Bar · Barbacarlo by Vasyl and Alessio

A commemorative release in honour of Comm. Lino Maga. And boy, it shows so much character, style and evolution. In the nose it offers notes of chocolate, caramel, blueberry, mulberry and cough syrup. But it's beautiful as with time it reveals flowery notes. On the palate it's so fizzy and has some sweetness. And once the tinny bubbles disappear, we are left with a beautiful, stylish, sophisticated and delicious wine. Love it and I would love it even more in a decade or two.

Wine #4 on Barbacarlo by Vasyl and Alessio event.


At a glance

  • Azienda Agricola Barbacarlo, named after its eponymous wine, is owned by the Maga family, who have been cultivating grapes on the hills outside Broni in Oltrepò Pavese (Lombardy, northern Italy) since 1886. The name "Barbacarlo" was given by the nephews of Uncle Carlo in honour of the man who gifted them the land. "Barba" means uncle in the Pavia dialect.
  • The wine gained its current reputation under the guidance of Il Commendatore Lino Maga, who was awarded the Order of Merit in 1992. Born in 1931, Comm. Lino Maga passed away at the age of 90 on New Year's Eve in 2021, after participating in 84 harvests—having started helping in the Barbacarlo vineyards at the age of 6. The winery is now run by his son, Giuseppe Maga.
  • In 1970, when the Oltrepò Pavese DOC was established, the Barbacarlo designation was given to 45 municipalities. Comm. Lino Maga found this unacceptable given the unique origins of the name and spent 22 years protecting it. Today, Barbacarlo is defined as a proprietary trademark.
  • The winery produces two wines—Barbacarlo and Montebuono. Both are made using the same traditional methods, with the only difference being the vineyards and blend. They have always been produced without the use of chemicals, except for a small amount of SO2SO_2. In this sense, they were producing 'natural' wines a century before the term became a thing.

Azienda Agricola Barbacarlo, located in the hills outside Broni in Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy, has been under the meticulous care of the Maga family since 1886. The winery is named after its iconic wine, Barbacarlo, in honour of Uncle Carlo, who gifted the land to his nephews. "Barba" means uncle in the Pavia dialect.

The vineyard is known for its steep, tufaceous-stony slopes and old centenary vines, producing wines with a distinct character. Barbacarlo is a red wine made from a blend of local grape varieties: Croatina, Uva Rara, and Vespolina (locally known as Ughetta). The winemaking process is deeply traditional, avoiding modern chemicals and interventions. Grapes are harvested by hand, fermented in ancient casks without temperature control, and bottled with minimal additions in the spring. This results in wines that can vary greatly from year to year, often carrying a slight residual sugar that imparts a gentle effervescence.

In addition to Barbacarlo, the winery produces Montebuono, another cru made from Croatina, Uva Rara, and Barbera grapes, crafted in the same way. Both wines are celebrated for their ability to age and evolve over time. They also used to produce a wine called Ronchetto, but they stopped after 1996, possibly because the plot was burdensome to work it (and perhaps it was not the most qualitative).

Il Commendatore Lino Maga is the legendary figure behind the winery's current reputation. Born in 1931, Lino spent his entire life in the vineyards, taking part in 84 harvests until his passing on New Year's Eve in 2021. His dedication to traditional winemaking and his successful protection of the Barbacarlo name as a proprietary trademark after a 22-year legal battle are a testament to his passion and commitment. Lino was awarded the Order of Merit in 1992 for his contributions to the wine industry.

Today, the winery is managed by Comm. Lino's son, Giuseppe Maga, who continues to uphold the family's traditional methods. The Maga family's vineyards cover 17 hectares, with vines averaging fifty years old, planted on steep slopes at an elevation of 300 meters. The vineyards are farmed organically, avoiding pesticides and using only copper and sulfur against powdery mildew. The wines are known for their honesty, transparency, and rustic charm, reflecting the unique terroir of the region.