Marco Bonfante - Barbaresco 2019
When it comes to the top tier wines of the Italian Piedmont, If you find something under 50 bucks I’d tell you got a good deal. Under 40? You basically stole it. A Barbaresco for under 30 dollars? Under 25? At this point, I’d assume time travel is involved! Well, hop in the DeLorean, and let’s see what happens when we hit 88 miles an hour…
This is classic Barbaresco- 100% Nebbiolo aged 24 months in oak with and additional six months resting in the bottle, with the required 2 years of reserve. You can make comparisons to its cousin to the West, Barolo, but there are a few key differences between the two. Specifically, differences between the climate and soil lead Barbaresco towards a slightly less tannic style.
What I was really impressed with was how easily accessible this was. Putting something like a Barbaresco in the wine station is always kind of a risk, but this was ready to go! There’s immediate rich red fruit, with incredible herbal tones and tertiary notes of baking spices and cocoa. Great tannin- with a wonderful texture and an incredible potential for aging.
I cracked into this alongside some homemade ravioli made with pasta flour from Red Tail Grains. This wine just shone alongside their “Southern Semolina”, accenting the earthy, rustic pasta with beautifully textured fruit and that incredible spice palette. In his review, James Suckling cites a bit of nut shell as a flavor note, which might be what pushed this over the top to a really exceptional pairing. Here’s the real pro-tip: rip the cork on this right as you put your pasta dough to the side to rest. By the time you’re plating up- it’ll be singing!
James Suckling: 92 Points
"Aromas of dried cherries, chocolate, nutmeg and grilled herbs. Medium- to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins and bright acidity. Spiced, red-fruited palate and a dry, savory finish with hints of nut shell and crushed stones. Try after 2024."
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