Batasiolo Barbera D’Alba

Maker: Batasiolo, La Morra, Cueno, Piedmont, Italywpid-2015-03-01-19.37.06.jpg.jpeg

Place of origin: Alba, Cueno, Piedmont, Italy

Vintage: 2007

ABV: 14.5%

Purchased for $17

Appearance: Very dark purple, nearly black.

Nose: Cherry jam, hardwood smoke, blueberry juice, blackberry.

Palate: Slightly chewy but not overly tannic. Toasted oak and cherry again.

Finish: Big cherry in the finish.

wpid-20150304_111028.jpgParting words: Barbera is a long suffering grape. Given a bland or worse treatment in its Piedmontese homeland for many years, it was involved in a deadly contamination scandal in the 1980s when thirty people died from drinking Barbera containing a deadly amount of methyl alcohol. As one can imagine, when a wine kills a bunch of people consumers tend to shy away from it for a while.

Barbera can be delicious when done right and this is a great example. It’s bold and a little spicy but still very fruity and easy to enjoy with or without food. We had it with medium rare rump roast and roasted rutabagas (a.k.a. swedes) and it did well. It also threw a crazy amount of sediment into the glass, as you can see. ¬†Batasiolo Barbera D’Alba 2007 is recommended.

Trader Joe’s Reserve Barbera

Maker: ???

Grape: Barbera

Region: Mendocino Co, California, USA

Vintage: 2009

ABV: 13.9%

Appearance: light burgundy

Nose: Pretzels (and no, I hadn’t been eating them at the time), blueberry, milk chocolate

On the palate: Very light, slightly tangy. Table grapes, California strawberries shipped to Michigan, New Jersey blueberries shipped to Michigan.

Finish: Very light, a hint of tannin then vanishes.

Parting words: When I said in a previous review that these Trader Joe’s¬† bottles can be dull, this is the sort of wine I was thinking about. Barbera has been a grape that California winemakers have been experiementing with for a long time. In this case, the experiement has to be judged a failure. Not that this is bad, it’s just dull. If Barbera is what you’re after, there are affordable Italian choices that offer good value for money. This is not expensive, but it’s still not worth buying. Trader Joe’s Reserve Barbera is not recommended.