Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Barbera (ific)

Let's talk a little bit about Barbera.

Well to be honest, Barbera sometimes gets a bum-rap. This varietal is the third most planted in Italy (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano) and has in many instances been used worldwide as a blending grape in cheap table wines. But not always!

The most well known Barberas come from the D'Asti DOC (Piedmont - NorthWestern corner of Italy) and some are truly world-class-wines. Most of the best Barberas are still coming from Italy, but some success is being found in Argentina, Uraguay, Chile, South Africa, Australia and California.


clear visual:
  • medium cherry centre
  • pale strawberry rim and the tiniest hint of brick... it looked like a 2007 to me - was 2006
  • moderate legs

clean nose, moderate ++ intense notes of:

  • hot alcohol
  • leather
  • plum/cherry
  • vanilla and anise

clean palate, 0 dryness, full- acids, moderate tannins, moderate+ notes of:

  • berries
  • vanilla
  • leather
  • light minerality

a light bodied wine, moderate+ alcohol (13.5%), and decent length on the palate at 6 seconds++

I should start by saying that this wine, especially after breathing for 15 minutes, tasted for all the world like a thin, acidic port! Sounds wierd perhaps but as a dedicated port drinker I swear it is so...

A decent glass of wine - I found myself enjoying it more with a little nibble of cheese rather than on it's own. I would buy it again, but probably to start a meal in the summer, or to go with a baked pasta.

2006 Barbera D'Asti (DOC) "Ricossa", Italy, $22

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