Exploring the Beauty of Barbaresco

This month the #ItalianFWT group traveled to Piedmont to consider and write Barbaresco as a wine. Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles is our host and here is a great a great post with loads of information about this lovey wine.

Usually when people write or speak about Barbaresco, they always do it in comparison to another fabulous wine that starts with a B from Piedmont, Barolo.

I’m less interested in this post in the comparisons between the two and more in the stunning wines that this historic area of Italy produces.

Barbaresco is made from the Nebbiolo grape. As you can see from the map above, it is located near the two of Alba and not far from Canelli, The history of the name is still hotly debated whether it stems from the barbarian hoards that tried to conquer the area of from the name of the woods that dominated these hills which the Romans called barbarica silva or wild woods. The production area for Barbaresco includes the towns of Barbaresco, Treiso, and Neive and also part of Alba.

On the nose and palate these beautiful wines tend to present aromas of blue and black fruit, violet and rose, forest floor, and depending on the producer some tar/tobacco notes and spice. Aged by law in oak for at least two years and four if it’s a Riserva, Barbaresco have gorgeous acidity and are wines to hold and age for 7-10 years at least.

While they are big and powerful wines, I often find them elegant and somewhat restrained in the glass. Lovely with most foods and celebratory because of their special nature, Barbaresco is a great wine for a holiday, an anniversary, or as a treat.

Barbaresco is often talked about as being a more feminine wine that some of the other wines made from Nebbiolo but that depends on which producer and which wine. The area is now also mapped out into menzioni geografiche aggiuntive (MGAs) so each parcel has really been studied

Right before the pandemic changed our lives, I went to an enormous tasting of Barolo and Barbaresco wines in New York. It was so crowded and so busy I am sure it was a terrible place to have gone that February 2020 but the wines called to me and at the time, I thought the problem wasn’t yet on our shores.

I had never tasted so many Barbarescos at the same time. It was a wonderful experience to see the diversity among and between the wines. My favorite that day was this one from a winery run by Marco and Adriano Vittorio from the Basarin Cru is in the municipality of Neive. The family winery is located in the San Rocco Seno d’Elvio township. The family began winemaking in the early 1900s. Today, they have 50 hectares, 30 hectares are given over to Nebbiolo and Barbaresco and other varieties and another 10 hectares to the famous Hazelnuts from Piedmont, think Nutella (made from Hazelnuts). The Basarin cru is one of the most famed of Barbaresco with grey mark soils at 300 meters above sea level.

Join the rest of the Italian Food, Wine, Travel (#ItalianFWT) bloggers in exploring Barbaresco this month, and check out the rest of the group’s posts:

  • Wendy with A Day in the Life on the Farm shares Pure Comfort~~Roast Chicken, Wild Rice Pilaf and a Glass of Barbaresco Wine
  • Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Risotto ai Tre Funghi, Rosticciana al Forno, + Fontanafredda Silver Label Barbaresco 2015
  • Lynn of Savor the Harvest is Reaching for Barbaresco Basarin with Marco and Vittorio Adriano
  • Susannah of Avvinare is Exploring The Beauty of Barbaresco
  • Marcia of Joy of Wine is pairing Hearty Beef Stew and Barbaresco
  • Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog has a 2017 Riva Leone Barbaresco Paired With Italian Fare and Friends
  • Gwendolyn Alley of Wine Predator shares Affordable Riva Leone Barbaresco Meets Bolognese
  • Nicole of Somm’s Table will share An Anniversary Celebration with Barbaresco
  • Robin and  Crushed Grape Chronicles is hosting and we will be sharing Barbaresco and Thanksgiving Flavors

4 comments

  1. If in your shoes, would have also gone to the tasting 😉 I also featured a wine from the Adriano family, albeit a different Barbaresco. The first day (drank it over 2 days) it occurred the same as you mentioned- “elegant and somewhat restrained”. The family talks about their ‘terroir wines’. It’d be interesting to overlay their different vineyard parcels on this MGA map you share then taste through them. Maybe someday. Thanks for an informational post Susannah.

  2. I love the map and the details on the region! I was familiar with the villages, but there is so much more depth to Barbaresco. What an amazing tasting to experience with so many wines of the region! At least going into the Pandemic you had a lovely memory of a brilliant tasting!

  3. That MGA map is fascinating Susannah. I was in a similar situation in Feb/Mar ’20 when I went to a sizable Wines of Oregon event. COVID was just getting some traction, but collectively we didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it turned out to be. It’s cool that you and Lynn selected a wine from the same producer!

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