I'm getting interested in Barbera after tasting a few really good ones from Palmina recently. There was varietal character that matched theoretical descriptions--dark, acidic, lively fruit, feral. The others I'd tasted were dull, bland and anonymous. Reminded me a bit of Chinon in some way, and I suspect the good Piedmont versions will be even more complex.
They actually had Palmina on the list. I should have ordered that. Barbera is interesting stuff. It was one of the first "value" wines that I really started to drink. They're obviously meant to go with food. The thing to watch out for is the more modern styled ones...this one is more modern, but hasn't lost what a Barbera should be. Way back when, Barbera was something that wasn't grown on good land--it was cheap stuff. And then Bricco dell'Uccellone came along...and people went wild with the oak. Another Barbera that I've had that is pretty modern, but generally pretty good (or at least three vintages in a row of it) is Fontanafredda. Now that I think about it, Vietti makes a kick ass Barbera d'Alba too, but I haven't had that in a while. Actually, I haven't had a whole lot of Barbera since I started this blog. I need to start drinking more of it. Too much wine, too little time, too little money, and too little capacity (meaning 2-3 three drinks a day maximum; many days none at all), right?
Just got some Vietti Nebbiolo--Perbacco and Castiglione, the lowest levels of their bottlings. Probably would have got the Barbera, too, but it was sold out.If you try the Palmina Barbera, go for the '07 Santa Barbara County version. I think it would be closer to what you like. The listed ABV is pretty high, but at least for me it didn't come across as hot. Their other Barberas are more obviously polished, modern and ripe. And they cost more, too.
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