Disclaimer: The bottle of Ricossa Barbera reviewed here was a sample.
Piedmont, Piemonte in Italian, is a region in the North-West of the country. Nestling against the Alps, it borders France and Switzerland. The main city, Turin, is home to the Juventus football team and the Italian automotive giant, FIAT.
The region’s most famous wines are Barolo, Barbaresco, and the sparkling Asti Spumante. The Nebbiolo grape is at the heart of the first two of these wines. Whilst Moscato is the variety used for the third of the famous trio. Despite the high regard in which Nebbiolo is held, just 10% of the region’s vines are of that variety. The primary grape in Piedmont is Barbera, which represents about 30% of plantings. To quote Madeline Puckette on Wine Folly:
Barolo is what everyone talks about from Piedmont, but Barbera is what everyone drinks!
The Ricossa Barbera was dark in hue; a typical characteristic of this varietal. Its medium intensity nose was rich, with aromas of dark fruit and cocoa. Those lush aromas led to a first first sip with flavours of blackberry. Rich fruit balanced the strong acidity. A finish of good length exposed a hint of nutmeg spicing the fruit.
The acidity, minimal tanins, and rich fruit make this is a fine example of the varietal. Unlike the tannin laden wines that Nebbiolo makes, Barbera drinks well at a young age. I have come a cross too many examples where the acidity is overly dominant. The Ricossa Barbera manages an ideal balance.
The wine is available online for about $22. At that price, I can recommend the wine without reservation.