Barbaresco (2008)



We are having homemade beef barley soup and whole wheat bread for dinner tonight. Tom opened this bottle of Italian red wine which is tasting very good with this dinner. The fruit is subtle. The texture and feel is sharp and acidic. This is what I expect from a decent Italian red wine. I like this very much.

We had a great Saturday! My day started with a long run with my girlfriends. It was sunny and the roads were dry — a big treat for a January run in Michigan! Here’s to my running friends. Cheers!

Terre di Ricaldone Barbera d’Asti (2005)

We have had this Terre di Ricaldone Barbera D’Asti 2005 before but it was quite a long time ago. I retrieved this wine from our storage area in the basement — mainly, because I wanted an excuse to check on my son who isn’t feeling well and was watching TV downstairs. So, I was able to breeze through on my way to pick out a bottle of wine and also check on him and see how he was doing. (He is sick; maybe has the flu but he is relaxing and taking good care of himself.)

Although I noticed from my notes that I really enjoyed this wine the last time I had it, my experience is different tonight. Tonight I am finding that the nose is musty and I do not like a musty nose. The nose is a big part of the wine; so it is difficult for me to get past it; however, in spite of this, the taste of the wine is typical Italian and very good.

For dinner, I am roasting a fresh chicken that we bought at the local farmer’s market yesterday. I also tossed some fresh, diced potatoes into the cast-iron skillet with the chicken. I am baking an acorn squash and will make a salad. (I harvested the remaining lettuce from my garden today so I have some wonderful, baby-leaf lettuce for dinner tonight.) I am going to hand over the computer to Tom so he can write his tasting notes, too.

Tom: To my palate this is a pleasant Italian with a taste common to many Italian wines: an Old World, slightly vegetal quality. It has a light-to-medium body and is fairly dry. (This is the opposite of, say, a fruit-bomby Australian. Each has its place, depending on one’s mood and food.

Ten Mile (California) Vintage Proprietary Red Wine (2005)

Tom and I went up north (Traverse City) to see my folks this weekend. My dad had saved me a newspaper clipping with a one-page advertistement from a wine shop. “The Blue Goat” had a wine sale that ended at 7:00 p.m.  So, the four of us took a drive over there and arrived with about 20 minutes to spare. Tom and I quickly chose a dozen reds that were on sale that looked interesting to us. This is one of them.

This Ten Mile Vintage Proprietary Red Wine 2005 is classic California red, a blend of old vine grapes of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, Malbec, and Carignane.  In the glass is very dark purple hues with a nose of pepper, and black tea. On the palate is plummy fruit along with dusty, smoky undertones. The feel in the mouth is supple and medium bodied, while the nicely-structured acidity provides a complexity that is impressive for the price. The finish is plums and licorice.

For dinner, I have chicken simmering in the skillet with potatoes (to mash). I am going to make some gravy from the chicken drippings and a vegetable. But, we are in no hurry. The chicken can simmer a long time and still be delicious!

Terre di Ricaldone Barbera D’Asti Superiore (2005)

Terre di Ricaldone Barbera d\'Asti 2005We received this Terre di Ricaldone Barbera D’Asti 2005 in a wine-club shipment. We opened it last night, but I didn’t get a chance to write about it. I just finished the last of it and I loved it. This wine has the Italian characteristics I have come to enjoy and appreciate: acidic, dry, fruity but not overly so, and no sweetness. The tannins are firm.

Definitely my kind of wine. I am happy to know we have two more bottles of this one on hand. Exquisite!

Four Hands Barbera d’Asti 2004

Four Hands Barbera d’AstiThis Four Hands Barbera d’Asti 2004 a dry Italian table wine. If you’re looking for something that is the opposite of sweet, fruit-forward New World reds, this is it. It’s tannic and acidic and the fruit flavors (perhaps blackberry) are somewhat reserved. It has a musty, dusty quality that is quite intriguing in its own way.

Four Hands Barbera d’Asti (2004)

Four Hands Barbera d’AstiWine from the Barbera grape has long been an everyday wine in the Piedmont region of Italy. Jancis Robinson states in her book, “How To Taste,” that there has recently been a trend to treat Barbera more seriously and give it wood aging.

Well, I can see why! This Four Hands Barbera d’Asti is really quite good. If I hadn’t read about the Barbera grape beforehand, I would have said this was quite tannic; but, really, this wine leans toward being more acidic than tannic. From my unsophisticated perspective, acidic is similar to tannic. Except, there is a vinegar quality to the finish. This (my own analogy) is what distinguishes the acidic quality from the tannic quality. This reminds me of a Chianti and I can see where the Barbera grape would be considered an everyday wine, simlilar to the Chianti.

I like this wine. It’s medium- to light-bodied and a light ruby color. I would rate it as good. A delightful quaff for a spring evening!

Tom: This Four Hands Barbera d’Asti has an appealing musty dryness. It’s a pleasure to learn about the Barbera grape. This wine is not fruit forward, but much more on the acidic, yeasty side. It’s quite pleasant tasting in that way.