I am not usually a fan of Barbera – even the ‘upper echelon’ stuff. I find it often marred by overuse of new oak and lacking the finesse, complexity and sheer pleasure of great Nebbiolo. However, I recently tasted this very nice example in San Francisco and felt it worthy of comment.
This Barbera is made from 30+ year old vines from a producer that held on to its vineyards during Italian industrialization and the general decimation of vineyards in Piemonte at that time. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically.
Stainless steel ferments are followed by 16 months elevage in new barrique and 6 months in bottle. I found with the 7 years of age, the oak had mellowed and luckily in 2009 the fruit was ripe enough to handle the level of oak ageing. I cannot speak for other vintages of this wine. It worked extremely well with Moroccan food.
~$25 USD; consumed off the list at Mourad, SF