We recently attended the Italian Trade Commission ‘Wines of Italy’ tasting in Vancouver, and enjoyed it greatly. Italian wines, whether rustic or modern, tend to exude the sense of terroir very well. They maintain a strong sense of character that gives them a typically Italian style. Lots of acidity, grippy tannins, aromatics, colour etc, all of which are very appealing. There is a soft spot in my heart for Italian wines, specifically those of the north, and it was these wines that I was most focused on, in particular Barbaresco.
Barbaresco is often overshadowed by its cousin Barolo, but while they do share some similarities, Barbaresco offers a favourable alternative in terms of both style and price point. Produced in the Barbaresco region of Piemonte, from the Nebbiolo grape, the wines are robust reds with an elegant, slightly more feminine edge to them. They generally take less time to mature, and so become more pleasant and more approachable at a younger age while maintaining structure, and fruit integrity. Barbarescoes are delicious and exceptional for pairing with classic Italian fare, roasted game, braised meats, and firm cheeses. Here are a few I enjoyed:
Notedinanto Barbaresco – slightly dull red colour, richly aromatic with floral spice notes, black fruits, and leather. Dry, full bodied, with rich grippy tannins, juicy acidity, and flavours of anise, dried cherry, and baking spice, with a warm lingering finish.
Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco – light ruddy ruby colour, moderately aromatic with hints of strawberry, sandalwood and sweet herbal notes. Dry, medium-full bodied with slightly rustic hints of tar, leather, red berries, and a touch of mocha in the finish.
La Spinona Barbaresco – ruddy ruby colour, moderate aromatics of leather, dried berries, and licorice. Dry, full bodied, balanced acidity and tannic structure, hints of sweet earth, baking spice, tea, candied berry and a long layered finish.