consistent tn's. Very enjoyable with just the right mix of new and old world (with old world dominating). With just 30 minutes aeration, this is positively singing, with each glass outshining the one before it. 13,5% abv, drink thru 2015
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(Giorgio Pelissero Barbera d'Alba Piani) Dark cherry red color; baked cherry, baked raspberry, oak nose with an herbal note; concentrated, tart red fruit, green herbs, very tart cherry, herbaceous palate; medium-plus finish
When it comes to traditional and indigenous varietals, Piedmont is overflowing with them. The problem is that modernity has crept in to such an extent that few even remember what Dolcetto (or Barbera) tasted like 40 years ago? In the year 2010, there has to be a middle ground where the freshness and historic character of a particular grape can be preserved while still using a small amount of here and now technique. Enter Pelissero with one of the more successful examples of Barbera I've tasted in quite a while.
If you could harness the dual yin-yang of old and new/feminine and masculine it would be this 2007 from Giorgio Pelissero - a Barbera that will serve as a modern introduction to a grape too often associated with shrill acidity and little more. Barbera is the grape (and wine) or choice for locals in Piedmont and a vast majority of Piedmontese drink Barbera almost everyday (several times per week at the minimum). It cuts through the rich local food and provides an often economical alternative to the more expensive (and usually contemplative) Nebbiolo. If you grew up drinking high-acid Barbera, most examples would appear tame but what about the rest of us - those that certainly enjoy acidity but also enjoy a deeper framework of fruit and tannins without sacrificing the indigenous and graceful nuances of the grape?
Pelissero, well aware of Barbera's fledgling reputation on our shores, set out to redefine what it means to vinify this grape in the year 2010. He disdains the overdone roto-fermentor modern style but also believes many hyper-traditional examples are just too focused on their acidity. Somewhere in the middle, Pelissero knew a wonderful wine was laying in wait...he was right.
His 2007 version of this wine may be the finest Barbera you've tasted - especially under $20. It has many virtues that blossom with air and each seems to be defined in just the right way. There is beautiful fruit, noble tannins, a layer of elegant minerality and a long afterglow of balance and harmony left on the palate - all told, this is a very complete wine that drinks like a $40 entrant for much less.
It may be overkill, but I'm including both the Tanzer and Galloni reviews as they are very different but I can see how each of them had a unique experience that was enticing (my guess is that Tanzer tasted the wine right out of the bottle and for the next 1-2 hours and Galloni's impression is one compiled over a few days. My own experience is that the wine appears brooding at first but gains a regal elegance as it sits open, closer to Antonio's impression):
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as a wonderful expression of "traditional meets modern" at a very fair price
ONE SHIPMENT ONLY at this price - about the same as in Italy:
2007 Pelissero Barbera d'Alba DOC (Piani)
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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