Archive for the 'Barbera' Category

2007 Paolo Scavino Rosso Vino da Tavola

Paolo Scavino is known as a producer of great Piemontese single vineyard Barolos. What we don’t often see over on this side of the pond are the other, more everyday wines he produces such as this Vino da Tavola. The reason for the generic name is that it’s a blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and  Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m not 100% sure of the percentages of each, but it all adds up to a pretty tasty bottle of the juice.

It’s deep ruby-red in colour and its nose gives up dark cherry, mocha, violets and earth. The flavours? Well, I got black cherry,  black pepper and a rustic earthiness. That leads out to a medium-length finish showing ripe dark fruit with smooth tannins. Nice stuff.

All in all, it’s not the best $35 bottle of wine I’ve had recently, but I did really enjoy it (enough that I bought a second bottle to have sometime soon).

$35 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 stars

No comments

2004 L’Azienda Agricola Renato Fenocchio “Aurora”, Langhe Rosso

10142009This wine has been my go-to secret for a while now. Via Kitsilano Wine Cellars, I was able to get my hands on 6 bottles of it a while back… and I savoured every one of them. Candace and I have had it many times and also shared a bottle with Graham – making him want to find more of it as badly as I did.

It’s a hard-to-find (until now – I’ll get to that in a minute) blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera from the town of Nieve in my favourite wine region, the Langhe in Piedmont. It’s named for winemaker Renato’s daughter, Aurora and I think it’s even some of her young artwork that decorates the label.

I’m not 100% sure of the blend, but I think it’s mostly Nebbiolo with a dash of Barbera to spice things up. Now when I said it was my secret go-to wine, it was because you just couldn’t find this wine in town until last week – Kitsilano Wine Cellars received a shipment of ~ 10 cases. Now you and I can quaff this to our heart’s content.

In the glass, it’s got a classic light Barbaresco-like nose of dark cherry brandy, cinammon spice, nuts (think walnut) and a perfumed violet-edge to its tar scented finish. There’s even some of my felt tip marker in there. A big ‘ol sip gives up ripe red cherries, a kinda’ walnut liqueur thing going on and a long spicy finish.

2004 was a great year in the Langhe and this is a wine to try. It offers up a lot for the money. Most really tasty wines from the area run over $50 (at least) in our local stores. Kudos to the guys at Farmstead Wines for picking this one to bring in. In keeping with their standards, the grapes that make up Fenocchio’s wines are naturally farmed.

On their site, they point out that, “Not only do they have some of the best vineyards in the Barbaresco region, including parcels adjacent to Angelo Gaja’s, the family does all of the work themselves by hand… Renato and his wife Milva spend a ridiculous amount of time in their vineyards. In fact, their grapes are so good that they often sell excess to Bruno Giacosa.” I have to agree. These are some seriously tasty grapes, especially for the money.

$45 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 1/2 stars

5 comments

Sean Thackrey Pleiades XVII

Last Saturday night Candace and I headed out to Graham’s for a BBQ dinner and to taste a few wines… and film a few reviews. First up is Sean Thackrey’ delicious Pleiades XVII. It’s a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre, Barbera, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Viognier, among others.

Pretty amazing stuff.

$19.99 at the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

4 1/2 stars

5 comments

Sean Thackrey Pleiades XVI

02192009Wow. What else can you say when you taste this wine? I would actually mistake it for a Nebbiolo-based Piemontese wine… It’s just that hard to pin down. I first tasted it at Vancouver’s Salt Tasting Room a while back and had been looking for it since.

It’s a field blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre, Barbera, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Viognier, among other varietals. After harvest, winemaker Sean Thackrey lets the grapes sit and “rest” at least 24 hours outside his home. Then after crush, he transfers the juice to ferment in open vats under the eucalyptus trees that surround the winery.

Thackrey doesn’t keep track of the exact percentage that ends up in each blend so it’s different from year to year. No fancy schmancy modern science-driven techniques going on here. He got his education from what he says is the world’s largest collection of ancient wine scripts and lets his palate guide the final mix. The man is a character – something his wines have in spades.

The nose is really unique, especially for a California wine. There’s tar, powerful dark cherry and a bit of citrus edged by Thackrey’s signature note of eucalyptus. A curious sip gives up tar-edged cherry fruit along with a full-bodied mouth-feel and a finish that actually builds before it starts to fade a minute later.

I could drink this all the time and when you can find it, it’s quite the value. I was lucky enough to come across it at K & L Wine Merchants on my recent trip to San Francisco for the 2009 ZAP Festival.

$22.99 USD at K & L Wine Merchants in San Francisco.

4 1/2 stars

5 comments

2005 Casalone Bricco Morlantino Barbera del Monferrato

Like many of you, I’m a big pizza guy. I love cooking a good pizza at home (tonight’s was a prosciutto, artichoke and red pepper concoction). What’s not always so easy is pairing wine with those pizzas.

As a rule of thumb, I’ve always stuck with relatively inexpensive, earthy and lightly fruity Italian reds when it comes to my pizzas. It’s a mix I’m pretty bloody happy with. Tonight’s wine fit the bill to a “T”.

Barbera del Monferrato is generally known in Italy as a pretty middling sparkling or still red wine. Obviously some folks are striking out to create a quality product in the region though… I found this as enjoyable as almost any Barbera I’ve had in the last while.

On the nose, you get cherry syrup, mineral and a spicy earthiness. A sip shows some dark cherry fruit, licorice and some pomegranate on the mineral-laced finish.

Tasty stuff, especially for the money. Try some… even with pizza. :)

$24 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

3 1/2 stars

3 comments