Barbera has been a mainstay of the Piedmontese diet for… well, ever, but it went through a major identity evolution in the late 1970s. The grape variety has got acid and color to make any other grape varieties blush with envy, but it is most often very low in tannin, hence the aforementioned tradition of simple, juicy, and sometimes shrill Barberas. For balance, many producers both in Italy and domestically have played with deepening the structure of their Barberas with extended maceration, longer cellar aging and even blending in other varieties. Instead of the ubiquitous light and quaffable everyday glou-glou it had happily been, it was created for the first time to be a more refined and serious wine: more tannic and structured, aged in new barrels and built to last. But buyers be warned when putting Barbera in oak! It has a notorious tendency to suck up every ounce of wood flavor it can and in the blink of an eye can find itself irreparably changed.
Giornata Barbera is exactly what 99% of the winemakers in the greater Barolo areas are sipping on right now with their lunch. Nebbiolo tannins are to be enjoyed later.