Italian Barbera wines dazzle in taste test

When was the last time you tasted a Barbera wine from Italy? Barbera is grown in the Piedmonte region of Italy. The area is most famous for its bold Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Barbera and Dolcetto are the little brothers of these bruising and expensive red wines. Both of these latter wines are quite drinkable early on and much less pricier. I found two Barbera wines at reasonable prices and tasted them side-by-side. The  two Barbera wines are from neighboring towns and wine areas in Piedmonte. Both wines dazzled us in our taste test.

Barreri & Rovati Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2011 –  $9.99 Trader Joe’s

This is a true value wine in my book. I had no expectations when I opened the bottle. The aroma was slight, which made me expect even less from this wine. The taste was fantastic, with great fruit characters in the mouth and a very decent finish. I will certainly go back and purchase several more bottles of this wine. It is delicious, especially paired with Italian dishes that are tomato sauce based. Think Pasta Pomadoro or a Pizza Margherita. This wine, as are all Barbera wines, is medium bodied with balanced acidity. If you like full-bodied, bold wines, with extracted fruit flavors, you most likely will think a Barbera is too thin. What is very nice about this wine is that it will taste delicious to the last sip and make your meal much more enjoyable. I am assuming this is a Trader Joe’s exclusive, because I could not find anyone else selling the wine. As you can see from the photo, the label of this wine leaves much to be desired. The label’s main color and the print have little contrast, making the small print very difficult to read. What were they thinking? I rate this wine at 89 Points and, if you shop at Trader Joe’s, pick up a bottle. The Millbrae store had plenty as of this post.

Barreri rovati

How not to design a wine label. However, a very tasty wine

Renato Ratti Barbera D’Alba 2012 – Costco $13.99

The Renato Ratti Barbera D’Alba 2012 has a beautiful and rich nose of fruit flavors, much stronger than the Barreri & Rovati. Even though these wines are two different vintages and from different areas of Piedmonte, the wines are very similar in style and taste. We love the flavors in this wine as we did the D’Asti. I think the finish is a little short, but these wines are both wonderful examples of Italian Barbera wines. One big difference is the price point, with the Barreri & Rovati four dollars less in price. I also rate this wine at 89 Points. I purchased this wine at the Redwood City Costco.

Renato Ratti Barbera D Alba

Pedro Martinez Alesanco Blanco 2013 – $9.99 K&L Wines

pedroI love Spanish white wines, especiallly Albarino and Viura wines. I received an email Alert from K&L Wines recommending the Pedro Martinez Alesanco Blanco 2013. Boy, was I disappointed with this wine. The wine is bone dry and tart, with no enticing extras to offset the tartness. The wine is 100% Viura from Rioja wine region.  I went to the Pedro Martinez Website but did not find the wine listed anywhere. It could be there but I could not find it. Interestingly, I see that a K&L Wines logo is on the back label. Could this be that the wine was exclusively bottled for K&L?

Some important past articles you may have missed

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Some Costco News

I heard from a reliable source that the wine department at the Foster City Costco will undergo a huge change. The Tire Center will move to a location in the parking area and the wine department will move into where the tires were. This work is slated to begin the first of the year. Will this mean more wines for the Costco consumer?

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