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Question about Piedmont wines - Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo?

Question about Piedmont wines - Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo?

Old Dec 1st, 2002, 04:39 AM
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Question about Piedmont wines - Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo?

Ok, my husband and I are really enjoying Italian wines and while we've been quite comfortable with wines from Tuscany, I am trying to get a handle on wines from the Piedmont region.

Yes, I know Barolo is like the King of Italian wines, but how do Barbera and Barbaresco compare? We stocked up on a bunch of wines over the weekend, and I think found some good buys. We tapped into the Pio Cesare Barbera d'alba last night ($19 usd), it was only a 2000 but so good. I am tempted to order some more and store, but is this one that should be aged? We also found a '97 Barolo for under $20 usd. I am interested to taste this one, mainly because I can't believe we could find a barolo at such a price. I realize you get what you pay for, but I am hoping this one turns out to be one of those great finds.
Also, what should I be tasting in these wines, I think the barbera last night was full of berries but so smooth.
Old Dec 1st, 2002, 07:34 AM
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Hi Jill

I find from my wine notes:

Barbaresco: Similar to Barolo, from the same grape in a nearby area, but generally a tad tighter in body and slightly more approachable. Drinks best at 8 to 15 years of age, depending on the producer.

Barbera: Varietal wine produced mainly in the Piedmont region. Dry, light- or medium-bodied, with intense berry flavor, mouth-watering acidity, and little tannin. Particularly versatile with food. Many of the best wines are from the Alba or Asti zones.

Barolo: Dry, full-bodied, magisterial wine. Has complex aromas and flavors of strawberries, tar, herbs, and earth, as well as a firm, tannic structure. Drinks best at 10 to 20 years, depending on the producer.

Old Dec 1st, 2002, 12:44 PM
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Ira's descriptions are very good.

Drink Barbera's early. The lack of tannins make them a poor choice for long cellaring. Buy the Pio for consumption over the next year or two. Enjoy the fruit blast!

The 97 Barolo should be laid down for another 5 years minimum. 97 was a classic year for the Piedmont. If you drink now, you will find a hard, closed shell over the fruit. It would be a waste. But it does sound like a good buy.

Whose Barolo is it?
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 05:38 AM
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Italian wine classification is not as well developed as french. Barbera is a lighter fruity wine which can have some depth with the better makers such as conterno.Borolo a nebbiolo based wine requiring at least 5 years of aging,other nebbiolos in the area are a lighter style as those grown north of the terrano river.I suspect that your cheap borolo is similiar to one which I just got at trader joes,not very
good.If you are very interested in wine go to amazon and search many books available. RR
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 03:43 AM
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The barolo I am speaking of is Villadorio. I have no idea of its quality, but if its anything like the others we purchased, I think we'll enjoy it.
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 05:57 AM
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Thank you.





They appear to be a small producer (as are most Barolo producers). They also make Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Barbera etc.
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 06:23 AM
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if in the DC metro area, suggest you contact restaurant Galileo - chef/owner Roberto Donna is from Piedmont, and holds occasional wine and food tastings at his restaurant's demonstration kitchen. Sensational!!!! Also, suggest you contact a gentleman named Gastone at Winebow Distributors, and ask him for his presentation on Piedmont wines.
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