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….
Red wine with fish is a tough one but since I am grilling it, I feel there might be something to work with. This Barbera is from California and has a nice shade of purple in the glass. The nose is very cherry like, with some blue fruits lingering as well. I also get a leafy component, like parsley. Intriguing. On the palate it is somewhat sweet with ripe cherry, cola and cedar. It is juicy but not overly acidic, nor is it very tannic. The mid palate has a nice warm feeling to the red fruit compote. There is a definitive cedar note that runs the length of the wine. It is very fruity and certainly tasty. The finish is medium length and concentrates on those sweet cherries alongside some blackberry jam. Lip smacking stuff. Easy to drink and very approachable for the next 5 years. I hope the pairing works for me! 89 points and 5 stars for this $13 steal. Salut….
From the Langhe region in Piedmont comes this Nebbiolo/Barbera blend. Big Horn’s wife Ronny brought this offering to the weekend retreat. Typically Nebbiolo is a fruity and full flavored grape that matures to a Burgundy-like silkiness after a few years in the cellar. Barbera is a lighter more acidic grape with lower tannin levels.
This particular wine was rather thin on the flavor profile and did not have the weight I would have expected. It was almost pink in color and very see-through. Cherry-like nose and red currants came through on the palate with a touch of dryness from the tannins. It was pleasant enough but lacked any secondary fruit and is obviously not built to cellar. Ronny pointed out the hidden 14.7% alcohol on the label which did not show up in the glass. I would have thought that such a high level would translate into more depth and extraction. This wine can be found for $15 but only got an 85 out of me and 3 stars. Unfortunately the retreat has ended and we dash back to reality tonight after the long drive home. Salut….