I wanted to introduce our virtual tasting group to this varietal- Barbera. Unfortunately it was quite tart and that threw people off. It is an opaque wine which conjured up ideas of a brooding, tannic wine when quite the opposite was discovered. The group noted aromas of tar, cherry, cherry coke, luxardo cherries, coffee, tobacco and cola. The flavors we encountered were sour cherry, Dr. Pepper, tobacco, red currant and raspberry. Medium bodied, it had a short finish and was tart the whole time. 90 points for this $40 wine made it a 3 star effort. I subsequently drank it two nights later and it was far better, perhaps worthy of a bump in score. Drink till 2028 with something like breaded veal cutlets or an Alfredo dish, staying away from high acid foods with red pasta sauce. Salut….
I usually pick a lighter style wine to go early in the Virtual Wine Tasting Company’s lineup, it’s normally a Pinot but this time I selected a Barbera d’Alba. I thought the varietal closely mimicked the lightness and flavor profile of Pinot but I was off the mark with this particular bottle. It was very dark red in the glass with medium opacity and very fine legs that showed off it’s whopping 15% alcohol. On the nose the tasters got black licorice, blackberry, currants, cherry cola and ‘Shrinky Dink’. I could smell the alcohol a mile away and the flavors came forth out of the glass with no coaxing needed. I made a note of ‘intense black fruit flavors’ on my own.
The palate showed black cherry and licorice with light tannins but the flavors were jammy and deep. The finish was slightly dry with caressing tannins and juicy acidity. I really enjoyed this wine and gave it 16 points on my tasting sheet. Technically translated- that would be a 91 point effort for this $33 beauty that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2028 with lighter fare. Quote of the night – “Water running over moss covered rocks.” He obviously did not enjoy it as much as I! Salut….