When I heard recently that there was a new DOC for Barbera Appassimento I was eager to try the wine. 2014 was the first vintage for this DOC wine and it’s now being exported to the US and several other countries. The barbera grapes are dried in open trays for four to six weeks, evaporating water and concentrating the flavors before the grapes are pressed. The wine is aged in stainless steel and in bottle: no wood.

We made a Piedmont-style dinner to try the wine with. First an authentic bagna cauda, then a chuck roast long-braised in nebbiolo, accompanied by plain polenta. As it happened, the wine paired well with both courses. The concentration of the grapes lent elegance to the wine, with none of the sweetness I had expected. About fifteen minutes after opening the wine it had evolved and opened into balanced fruit and acidity. I found raspberry along with flavors of blackberry and tea, and foresty tannins, in a restrained, mannered wine – surprisingly classic for a new style of wine.

Highly recommended — BSE

WHO:    Ricossa Antica Casa
WHAT: 100% Barbera
WHERE: Piedmont, Italy
HOW MUCH: $23 (media sample)

About The Author

Becky Sue Epstein

An experienced writer, editor, broadcaster, and consultant in the fields of wine, spirits, food, and travel, Becky Sue's work has appeared in many national and international publications including Intermezzo Magazine, Fine Wine & Liquor, Art & Antiques, Luxury Golf & Travel, Food + Wine, www.wine-pages.com and Wine Spectator. She began her career as a restaurant reviewer for the Los Angeles Times while working in film and television. Epstein is also the author of several books on wine, spirits, and food, including Champagne: A Global History; Brandy: A Global History, and Strong, Sweet and Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala.

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