2012 Barbaresco Riserva, Roberto Sarotto

My first Barbaresco for Notes this evening, and breaking quite a domestic run that I’ve been enjoying over the past several months. Before this Italian gem, the only “offshore” wines I’ve sampled as of late have consisted of Orin Swift‘s Locations, so even that means international grapes through the lens of a US winemaker. Many years ago at a client dinner in Buffalo I had my only previous Barbaresco, and since I don’t remember that very well this one is getting a good up-close glimpse.

2012 Barbaresco Riserva, Roberto Sarotto, Barbaresco, Italy.

2012 Barbaresco Riserva, Roberto Sarotto, Barbaresco, Italy.

The wine is really nice, an easy-drinking red that runs lighter than a Napa Cab but heavier (and smokier) than a Pinot Noir. At its core the 2012 Barbaresco Riserva is cherry in flavor, albeit with some definite spice and smoke on the palate. It is made from Nebbiolo grapes and a nice break from the fruit-forward reds I have favored as of late. This fruit is grown in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy and mixes “tart berry flavors with dray earth, spices, and potpourri.”

Vivino (from where I purchased this bottle) says of Barbaresco, “If you ever wished that Pinot Noir had the punch of Cab, this might be the wine for you!” A truism and I just might be that dreamer–at least on a summer nights where a Cab is a bigger commitment.

This evening the 2012 Barbaresco Riserva from Roberto Sarotto accompanied a simple meal consisting of grilled steak (seasoned only with salt and pepper) and a garden salad. Enjoyed the meal; enjoyed the bottle of wine even more.

It’s the first Barbaresco for Notes but I’m pleased to report it will not be the last. Thanks as always for your readership!

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2006 Girabaldi Barbaresco

An enjoyable bottle of robust red comes to us here from the Girabaldi vineyards in Italy. With great promise this cherry-red beverage tumbled from the bottle into my Cabernet Sauvignon glass, a massive glass vessel that allows a generous pour and all the subtleties of the wine to come forth to the nose. I’m not sure why this 2006 was being unveiled at the time of purchase but I am grateful for the opportunity to give it a go.

The 2006 Giribaldi accompanied filet mignon, queen-size and grilled to a well-seasoned outcome in the day’s waning light. This Barbaresco complemented too a blue cheese salad with an experienced mix of dressing and crumble, plus sides of garlic-slathered mushrooms and a few miniature potato crowns–just because. Comprising Nebbiolo grapes, this Giribaldi offering brought out the flavors of the meat and was a great focal point in a delicious meal.

And just in case the above doesn’t fill in all the blanks for you, let me add that Wine Spectator remarks, “Attractive cherry, plus, and tobacco aromas get support from dense tannins in this pretty well-tone red, which still needs time for the tannins to finish.

Perhaps the above is the reason the 2006 has been on hold until recently. We have a few more of these on hand and will look forward to sharing with guests in the coming weeks. You might want to put your hands on a few too if the above strikes a chord for you as it does us.

Barbaresco Produttori 2007

Our tastes often run to the domestic and French in this house, but every so often have a fun detour to other fine regions of the world–like Italy in this instance.  Dining in Buffalo this evening with clients, I had the occasion to drink this full-bodied red for the first time.  The Barbaresco Produttori ‘07, I had to look up thereafter, comes from the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy.  It’s made from the Nebbiolo grape and fermented first in stainless steel and then aged in oak prior to bottling.

Barbaresco Produttori 2007, Piedmont, Italy.

Barbaresco Produttori 2007, Piedmont, Italy.

The Barbaresco accompanied a delicious spread.  Ignoring the fresh bread and olive oil, I sampled a selection of olives and then had a finely chopped Caesar salad (lemon and anchovy dressing!) for my Insalata.  I was still sipping the Barbaresco with my Seconi as well, a pair of grilled lamb chops that were panko crusted and drizzled with some dark, rich (too rich?) sauce.  The lamb was one of the Siena specials for the night, and the wine worked effectively with the smoky taste of the meat.  Green beans were a welcome side vegetable too.

And the wine itself?  Very fruity and floral-smelling, and I would have loved to enjoy more than just a glass.  As the driver, though, I was forced to savor just one…easy yet smoky on the tongue.  Sometimes a business dinner gets you outside of the norm, and I’ve now got the Barbaresco Produttori 2007 on my “try again” list for this reason.