Friday, February 27, 2009

WINE - Barbera, Barbaresco, and Barolo

A few short notes from the recent BB&B tasting I held for the WaaZuBee Cafe Wine Club on February 24th. I took the group of twenty three on a short excursion through the land of 'tar and roses" tasting two Barbera's and three Nebbiolo based wines. The focus of the tasting was to taste the differences between a generic producers of both varietals through to a small artisan estate growers. I touched on the differences between Barbaresco (1 year wood ageing, minimum 12.5% abv) and Barolo (2 years wood ageing and minimum 13% abv) along with the differences in flavour and style between the classic "tradionalist" and "modernist" producers. As well as looked at the history, geology, and geography of Piedmont and of both Barbera (Italy's 3rd most prominent work horse grape) and quirky nature of Nebbiolo ( various clones, mutations, long slow growing period), difficult growing nature i.e. susceptibility to vine diseases, and its near Burgundian cult following for "cru" single vineyard and commune wines.

Ricossa Barbera d'Asti 2006
Ruby red with typical text book aromas of red cherry and subtle blueberry notes. Light to medium-bodied with a lush textured balanced by good acidity and decent length of flavour (blueberry, red cherry, and pepper). Decent value 15.97 CDN$

Renata Fenocchio Barbera d'Alba 2006
Ruby purple with good depth of colour. Black cherry and minerally earth aromas. Full-bodied and concentrated with spice, black cherry, damson plum, and a sour cherry and vanilla note in the long finish. Nice balance of ripe fruit and acidity. A classy organic artisanal Barbera. 35.00 CDN$

Fontanafredda Barbaresco 2004
Cherry red with subtle tarry aromas. Full-bodied with some chewy tannins and flavours veering from violets to cedar, mineral and lead pencil. Needs another 2 or 3 years to round out. 34.95 CDN$

Fontanafreeda Barolo 2004
Cherry red with aromas of tobacco leaf, fruit leather, and subtle tar. Full-bodied with chewy tannins, and more complex flavours than the sister Barbaresco, with cedar, red plum, black cherry, and dried floral notes. 2-3 years ageing will bring out additional complexity. 38.65 CDN$

Poderi Colla Dardi Le Rose Barolo Bussia 2004
Cherry red colour with hints of mahogany and fresh laid tar aromas - classic. Full-bodied, chewy, and complex with layers of dried rose, prune, fig, violets, black cherry, black plum, and tar. Complex Bussia cru styling made in the "elegant" school of thought. Drinking nicely now but easily can handle the cellar until 2014 to 2016. 61.99 CDN$

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