Wine Blogging Wednesday #54: A passion for Piedmont

wbwlogoWelcome to Wine Blogging Wednesday #54: A passion for Piedmont whose host is David McDuff of McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail. Well of course I am totally stoked as Piedmont or Piemonte is one of my favorite wine regions to sip wines from as well as one of my favorites to visit. The rules for this WBW were simple, just pick any wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, sip it and write about it! It can be one of the powerful Nebbiolo based varietals such as Barolo or Barberesco or it can be the aromatic Arneis. I chose to write about Barbera, the work horse grape of the region that along with it’s little brother Dolcetto, find themselves on dinner tables in the region more often than not. The wine itself was the 2005 Marco Porello Barbera d’ Alba Filatura ($17). From the Filatura vineyard in the village of Canale comes this Barbera that is comprised of 100% of the grape. Unlike Barberesco and Barolo that are from the same grape and named for their respective regions, Barbera and Dolcetto are named for the grapes themselves.

From the winemaker:

The vineyards are from 30 to 50 years old. The south-west sun exposure of the vineyard, the medium mixture soil with a good percentage of clay allow a very good ripening of bunches. The grape harvest takes place normally at the beginning of October. The wine making processes used are the following: grapes destemming and crushing, fermentation at controlled temperature for 10/12 days and racking off. The wine is afterwards poured into wooden barrels where it finishes its alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. The wine is improved in barriques (with a good relation new/used ones according to the characteristics of the year) for 12/14 months. The production is of around 6,000 bottles. After the bottling the wine rests for some months before being commercialized.”

I always enjoy Barbera, because you get a little more oomph than a Dolcetto but don’t spend that much more money, although Barbera’s can get up in the $30-$40 range. One in particular that I wrote about a few months ago was in that price range but drank more like a Barolo than a Barbera so the price was warranted.

marcoporello_barbera_labelMy Tasting Notes –

Nose – cherry, raspberry, rhubarb

Taste – cherry, red currant, vanilla, dry dusty earth

Mouthfeel – medium body, fairly “full” feeling for a Barbera with good acidic back end

Finish – medium length, dusty to velvety tannins

This was a pretty good Barbera d’ Alba, nothing screamingly exciting about it but it was varietally correct displaying the classic aroma and taste profiles. At the $17 price tag it is definitely a buy and would go great with classic northern Italian or Mediterranean cuisine or would even be a nice splurge for a pizza night.

Thanks again to David for hosting this months WBW! Cheers!

Categories: $10-$20, barbera, piemonte, Wine Blogging Wednesday, wine review | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Holy Barbera Batman!

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!



Categories: $20-$30, barbera, Barrel Thief, wine review | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment