I had a chance to try this beautiful 2005 Barbera D’Alba at Marlowe in San Francisco. Barbera grapes are my new favorite. Totally up there with my love of Pinot Noir, these close cousins to the Barolo family are easily my top choice when I am in the mood for a more sophisticated Italian offering at a great value. I stock a few bottles of Barbera in the house alongside my rather minuscule Barolo collection, and luckily, Boroli’s Quattro Fratelli won’t break the bank at just about $20 a bottle.
When I got my very generously poured glass of this ’05 beauty, I was impressed by the deep, blood red color this wine had. Just from the looks of it, you can already tell that it will be a rich offering; one that would really envelop the palate. To my surprise however, there was a great balance of acidity and tannins. It was not so much the “chewy” wine that I’d have expected from its seemingly thick, dark hue. On the nose there was an earthy spice with hints of vanilla, nuts, and blackberries. I was delighted when my palate was engulfed in its rich ripe red berries; mostly raspberry, dark cherry, and blackberry. It was not too dry, but did have a finish that seemed to last forever. This is definitely a wine that would benefit from a little bottle aging, although I am not sure how long it should stay on your shelf. To be honest though, this wine is great right now, so it’s probably safest not to wait too long.