The Piedmont in northern Italy produces two world-class wines made from the Nebbiolo grape: Barolo and Barbaresco. The dynamic power of Barolo seems to overshadow its hardly less powerful neighbor. Let us focus some on a few great Barbaresco.
The Piedmont enjoys a long growing season, which gives Nebbiolo time to ripen fully. Harvests typically go well into October. The grape gains great depth of flavor from this long season. In addition, cool nights and morning fog allow the grapes to gain good acid structure, and plenty of tannins for aging. In Barbaresco, Nebbiolo’s tannins soften more quickly than in Barolo, and the wine can be enjoyed at a younger age.
If you have never tried one of these noble wines of the Piedmont, Barbaresco offers a good introduction. Flavors offer an odd but beguiling contrast of earthy tarry notes, and perfumed, floral fruit. It stands as a classic wine at the pinnacle of Italy’s best.
Regulations require barrel and bottle aging before Barbaresco can be released. Vintners generally aim for a more forward style now, highlighting the opulent flavors and sweet, flowery aroma. The following all have reached prime drinking.
Bruno Rocca stands as one of the stars of the appellation. The wines ferment in steel, to keep the freshness of the fruit. Half the wine ages in new oak, the rest in older barrels so that the fruit does not become overcast by wood. Time in bottle allows the elements to mellow and merge. Mindblowing seems like the right adjective to describe the complex of opposing elements apparent in these wines. The Rabajà vineyards stands as one of Barbaresco’s jewels. The Coparossa consists of grapes from several vineyards.
Colli dei Venti
Tufo di Blu $29.99
Great value for Barbaresco. This wine shows you the very real splendor that the appellation offers, but not at the price of a collectible. 90 Points from The Wine Spectator.
Monte degli Angeli
A Barolo, yes, but comparable to Barbaresco in its readiness to please even now. No disrespect meant, this is Barolo with training wheels. That is to say, made in a delicious forward style. Nothing wrong with that! For a Barolo it is light at just under 14% alcohol. Smoky, spicy, and floral, with plenty of punch, this terrific value offers a fine glimpse at the marvels one can find in Barbaresco and Barolo. Roasts, hearty stews, or an array of cheeses would be superbly matched with this wine.