We had this wine last week with a simple pasta and homeade redsauce. Normally I’d reserve our Barbaresco bottles for bigger meals but we were feeling Italian last week and opened it anyway. The tannis were smoother than I expected from a 2009 and in fact the fruit was not as lively as I expected. This tasted more like a 2004 than a 2009 which was a pleasant suprise. Great translucent, brick color, also making it seem older than it was. There was also a distinct mineral undertone to the wine which gave it a nice, lasting finish. A really curious bottle but one I’d recommend, I think this would fool a lot of people at a blind wine tasting. Have it with a bigger meal though, it’s still a big wine.
Barbaresco is made from the Nebbiolo grape in Piedmont. You might be thinking that sounds familiar and you’d be right because Barolo is also made with the same grape in the same region. In fact, these two wines are produced as close as 10 miles apart in some vineyards.
While they share many similarities there are also differences between the two wines hence two seperate classifications. The main difference is the terrior, or effect the land has on the product, of the wine. Barbaresco is grown in a more southern and maritime climate therefore the grapes reach ripeness sooner. This allows earlier fermentation and a wine with softer, albeit still strong, tannins. Barbaresco is approachable sooner than a Barolo but doesn’t have quite the aging potential. These are all subtle differences though and the only way to really experience the difference is to try multiple examples of each wine and see for yourself. I purchased this bottle at the Wine Library for $35 and we weren’t disappointed. We enjoyed it with rigatoni with meat sauce and garlic bread.
colonelgrape: 91. Like most big wines (Cabernet, Barolo, Barbaresco, etc) I would recommend decanting for at least 30-60 minutes prior to drinking. This will allow the tannins to soften, the flavor to come out, and the wine to reach a more appropriate drinking temperature. Right away I tasted notes of cherry, earth, leather and Moby detected hints of anise. Definitely a classic Nebbiolo wine. The tannins gave the wine structure but weren’t in your face after decanting. The finish was long and pleasant. This wine is very drinkable right now and over the next few years. I’d recommend it with a rustic meal like osso buco, porketta, or lasagna.
MobyGrape: 87. Let this one breathe for a minute before you drink it, the first sip right away (because I couldn’t wait, obviously) was super dry and kind of sour tasting but it really turns around after a few just hanging out. I picked up a kind of musty earthy anise taste and smell, but not in a bad way, it was subtle like a nicely flavored cookie kind of way, not like chewing on a piece of licorice. Then I heard the Colonel mention cherry, and I certainly pick that up as well, but it wasn’t overly fruity, or like drinking a cherry you picked up off the ground. I know this sounds like an odd combination but trust me, it’s quite good, and the flavors work well together.