Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Wine for an Old Dog - Prunotto Barbera d'Asti "Fiulot" 2011

I've never been a huge Barbera fan. Even though my all time favorite grape Nebbiolo hails from the same region of Italy, Barbera has just never thrilled me. It's an acidic grape that frequently makes very high-toned, acidic wines that really need food - especially something like pizza, where the acidity of the tomato sauce lends itself to a wine made from Barbera as a companion. There are a lot of single vineyard Barberas nowadays that sell for $25 or so, but good entry level, everyday versions are especially hard to find. Well, not any more I guess.

Barbera is the third most widely planted grape in Italy, coming in behind Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The most common bottlings bear the Barbera d'Asti and the Barbera d'Alba designations with the versions from Asti usually being lighter and more delicate than the bolder Alba versions. Prunotto is one of the great names of Piedmont, having produced top bottlings in the region since 1905. Their sought after Barolos fetch high prices all over the world and it is a winery that always seems to produce quality product.

Such is the case with this wonderful $11.99 version. It's got all the dark plummy fruit aromas you expect from this grape, along with complex supporting notes of black pepper and earth. This really is a very aromatic wine. In the mouth it's got plenty of plum and dark berry flavors to balance out that typical Barbera acidity. Make no mistake, this is a food wine but I''m having no trouble sipping this beauty while I'm sitting here logging this post. It's absolutely the best everyday Barbera I've ever had.
Imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Cheers.

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