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Barbera Wine Notes…

March 27, 2010

It is about time I get these Barbera wine notes posted…I have been quite busy, my garden work consuming all my physical energy (have to work outside when the weather permits)…..

During the Barbera Meeting 2010 we tasted Barbera wines produced in the provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo in the Piedmont region of north Italy.

Based on my tasting of the Barbera wines, I have placed the wines into two categories: “Traditional Piedmontese Barbera” and “Modern/International style”. I think that this distinction ought to be clearly made. In my opinion, since some of these wines, albeit from Barbera grapes, are made in a more modern style, they should be profiled as such and held distinct from the more traditional wines (in character, structure and taste). As a wine taster I had to be quite critical, otherwise I am not making a thorough evaluation. Some winemakers may not like to see this distinction made, but as someone who tasted these wines, I feel it is the only way to be fair. I love the traditional Barbera wines and I prefer that the tradition is not be altered. However, a few “modern-style” Barbera wines were pleasant to drink. With the modern-styles no distinction is evident, in the meaning that if someone blind-folded me and were to ask me point blank where I thought the wine came from—the answer would be “I really don’t know”.

The “traditional” wines listed further below here are the ones I considered good wines… In my opinion it might be difficult to achieve the perfect Barbera, however there are some wines here on the list which come pretty close. Then in the second category I have listed wines which are good Piedmontese wines made from 100 percent Barbera grapes, but are not quite what a Barbera wine should be, although good.

Declaration:

The lists below were created by me and derived from my own blind tasting experience at the Barbera Meeting 2010. I also admit that I re-tasted wines later in the day(s)/evening(s) at the Barbera Meeting events. I also paired some with a meal here at home (last week); through this experience (subjective definitely) some wines took on a different personality when taken together with a meal. One of pit falls of blind-tasting is that it is a reductionist, yet subjective method of evaluating wine. Sometimes a wine needs a second chance so to speak and that’s what I did for some of them. I am not influenced by any one person or organization. I tend to be a maverick. I have been drinking Barbera wine for over two decades and I have selected those wines which I hold as being Barbera in the traditional sense. And I have selected modern-style Barberas as well.

The Barbera Meeting 2010

Traditional Piedmontese Barbera wines

Cantina Sociale di Mombercelli “Terre Astesane”: Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2008 “La”. grape origin: Mombercelli (AT)

Casa Vinicola Dogliotti: Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2008. grape origin: Castagnole delle Lanze (AT)

La Ballerina, Azienda Agricola Vitivinicola: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 “GB”. grape origin: Montegrosso d’Asti (AT)

Oddero Poderi e Cantine: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007. grape origin: Vinchio (AT)

Agostino Pavia e Figli: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Moliss”. grape origin: Agliano Terme (AT)

Cantina Sociale di Mombercelli “Terre Astesane”: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Terre Astesane”. grape origin: Mombercelli (AT)

Sant’Agata: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Altea”. grape origin: not listed

Castello di Razzano: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Del Beneficio”. grape origin: Alfiano Natta (AL)

Ivaldi Dario, Azienda Agricola: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “1613”. grape origin: Nizza Monferrato (AT)

Tenuta Il Falchetto, Azienda Agricola: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Lurei”. grape origin: Agliano Terme (AT)

Tenuta La Pergola: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 Superiore “Vigne Vecchie della Cappelletta”. grape origine: Cisterna d’Asti (AT)

Agostino Pavia e Figli: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2006 Superiore “La Marescialla”. grape origin: Agliano Terme (AT)

Garrone Mario & C. Cantine: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2008. grape orgin: Ponzano Monferrato (AL)

Morando Silvio, Azienda Agricola: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2008. grape origin: Vignale Monferrato (AL)

La Casaccia: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2007 “Bricco del Bosco”. grape origin: Cella Monte (AL)

La Scamuzza: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2006 Superiore “Vigneto della Amorosa”. grape origin: Vignale Monferrato (AL)

Cantina Iuli: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2006 Superiore “Barabba”. grape origin: Cerrina (AL)

Bosco Agostino, Azienda Agricola: Barbera d’Alba DOC 2007. grape origin: La Morra (CN)

Cascina Ballarin: Barbera d’Alba DOC 2007 “Giuli”. grape origin: La Morra (CN)

Damilano: Barbera d’Alba DOC 2007 “La Blu”. grape origin: Barolo (CN)

Francone: Barbera d’Alba DOC 2007 Superiore “I Patriarchi”. grape origin: Neive (CN)

Now a word about the modern-style Barbera wines were a bit difficult for me to evaluate, not because some were not pleasant, but because they are wines of a different character. Personalities that clash so to speak. Will the “real” Barbera please stand up !! Like I said earlier, some of these are also pleasant to drink, however they are not in my view Barbera wine in the authentic sense (although 100 percent Barbera). Some of the wines I have listed below are even on the border line. I have listed my favorite modern Barbera wines.

Modern-Style Barbera wines

Braida di Giacomo Bologna: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 “Bricco della Bigotta”. grape origin: Rocchetta Tanaro (AT)

Tenuta I Quaranta: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 “Asia”. grape origin: Ricaldone (AL)

Tenuta La Tenaglia: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2007 “Giorgio Tenaglia”. grape origin: Serralunga di Crea (AL)

Castello di Razzano: Barbera d’Asti DOC 2006 Superiore “Vigna Valentino Caligaris”. grape origin: Alfiano Natta (AL)

Garrone Mario & C. Cantine: Barbera del Monferrato DOCG 2008 Superiore. grape origin: Serralunga di Crea (AL)

Accornero Giulio & Figli: Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2007 Superiore “Bricco Battista”. grape origin: Vignale Monferrato (AL)

Bric Cenciurio: Barbera d’Alba DOC 2007 “Naunda”. grape origin: Magliano Alfieri (CN)

Note: My tasting schedule was disrupted on Tuesday, March 9th due to the weather and I arrived late that day. I have tasted some of the Nizza wines and I will taste more of them soon and provide an evaluation at a later time.

—Piemontèis Life

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One comment

  1. There is another Barbera wine tasting event “Orizzonte Nizza” at the Foro Boario in Nizza Monferrato (AT), May 24 -25. I hope to attend this event so I re-evaluate some of the Barberas I did nto have a chance to taste (because of that snow storm)especially from the NIZZA subzone…. There are so many other tasting events in May for other varietals. May will be an exciting month here in Piedmdont. If anyone is crossing the “big pond” in the next few weeks…give me a holler maybe we could meet up some where in Piedmont? Ciao, Karin
    Piemonteislife.wordpress.com



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