Barbera d’Alba 2018 DOC
Walking through the shelves of Whole Foods, my eyes are captured by a marvellous label with a retro style. At the top of it, a name stands out: Rinaldi. It is one out of the 7000 Barbera d’Alba bottles produced every year by this mythological winery. The 40 years old vineyards are located in the hilly Ravera, the largest cru owned by Rinaldi and still included in Comune di Barolo (note if you are not strong in Italian geography: Barolo is a town, actually the town giving the names to the famous and noble wine).
After the harvest, delayed by the producer due to the striking level of grapes’ acidity, the destemming follows and then the fermentation. It takes place with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks for about 15/18 days. During this period of contact on the skin, the winemaker does two pumping over daily. After drawing off the wine from the tanks (process called svinatura in Italian, tiré ël vin in the local dialect), la Barbera is dry and she undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Then the divine juice is left sleeping “al freddo naturale” during the winter months. Finally in March, the nectar is poured in Slavonian oak casks, where it ages until August. A year after the harvest, the wine is ready to go on the market and on our tables. Salute!
In the glass the wine has a lively deep purple colour. It is clear with no traces of sediments.
The aromas intensity is medium plus. There is a delicate fragrance of violet, and luscious notes of blackcurrant and sour cherry. The cloves and a fine vanilla enrich the aromatic bouquet. Open at least an hour earlier, it needs a bit of time before exhaling all its flavours.
In the mouth, the wine is dry with a medium high level of acidity. The tannins are medium high too, but they are incredibly silky. The nectar has a pronounced flavour intensity of ripe wild black fruits, raisin, liquorice, intriguing hints of spices and refreshing balsamic notes. Sip after sip, the fruits become more and more succulent! There are also feeble tertiary hints of leather and earth. The lasting is long.
Che bontá! It is a genuine and juicy nectar with a lot of cheerful fruits. This Barbera makes herself* loved neither for her complexity or austerity, but for her incredible generosity and endless lasting. She is not cheap, but never mind, she is undoubtedly a really pleasant drink.
Final vote: 92
*I use the feminine article and pronoun because in Italian, (la) Barbera is the only wine mentioned using the feminine article, i.e. la.
Price: £42.99 at Whole Foods