REBEL GRAPE SOCIETY

JANUARY 2021

BARBERA: SO MUCH LOVE YET STILL SO MUCH TO LEARN

 

BARBERA [bar-BEH-rah]

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. 

 

1. 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. 

2. Lepiane’s solution to create complexity is to sprinkle in about one-third whole cluster in the fermentation and to age the wine for nearly 2 years in barrels.

3. Unti’s approach to Barbera strives to that same modern approach, bold and robust ripe fruit aged with just enough new french oak to layer in tannin and savoriness.

 

All three are equally delightful and unmistakably wonderful examples of the Barbera grape. 

– Kevin Wardell, January 2020

 

DOWNLOAD PDF OF TASTING NOTES HERE

WINE NO.1: GIORNATA BARBERA

Paso Robles, California 2019
PURCHASE HERE

WINE NO.2: LA LEPIANE BARBERA

Walker Vineyard, Los Olivos, California 2018
PURCHASE HERE

WINE NO. 3: UNTI VINEYARDS BARBERA

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California 2018
WINE SMARTS.

WINE SMARTS.

And 10% off your next purchase. Pay no attention to the frog.

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