We hit the Barrel Thief for lunch on Sunday with our friends Paul and Warren who were in town for the day. While we were selecting our wines for lunch, owner Ross, pulled me aside and showed me this Barbera that he was raving about, and recommended it to me knowing my love for Piemonte wines. At 30 bones, the 2005 Ronco Malo Barbera d’ Asti was a little pricey but Ross hasn’t steered me wrong yet so I picked it up.
Ronco Malo Barbera d’ Asti is produced by Piemontese vintners Vittorio Bera et Figli which is located in the Langhe hills in the town of Canelli. Bera et Figli is most famously known as the first family owned vineyard to start bottling and marketing Moscato d’ Asti in 1964. Again, this is another vineyard producing their wines organically, although I didn’t know that until I was doing a little research on the internet. A quote from one of their exporters: “In the Azienda Bera vineyards the ecosystem is alive: an abundance of snails is proof of a harmonious environmental balance.”
Well organic or not the Ronco Malo did not disappoint, I was thoroughly impressed as we had it with some fabulous homemade (wife made) sun-dried tomato Risotto and braised brussel sprouts.
My Tasting Notes –
Nose – Cherry, blueberry, leather/coffee, currant, bacon, green olive
Taste – prune, fig, earthy funk, cooked veggies, cranberry sauce (thanksgiving style)
Mouthfeel – medium to full body, with generous but balanced acidity
Finish – long with leathery tannins
The acidity in the wine paired nicely with the creamy Risotto and the brussel sprouts heightened the cooked veggie notes in the wine and vice versa. With very smooth tannins that I wrote down as leathery but bordered on velvety, you could enjoy this wine by itself or with a dish that exemplifies the flavors of the Piemonte region as I did. Although the 2005 is drinking great now, based on its structure you could definitely hang on to it for a while longer.
Bravo Ross, great pick!