Barbera 2010: Day 1

This post was going to be a negative one about the influence of wood on all these barberas i’m tasting here, but i decided to start this thing off on a positive note.

Tasting through some 120 wines in a single day is rough, especially after 2 hours of sleep and a missed connection in Heathrow. At some point you begin to lose your palate. Wines begin to blend together. Texture takes over, nuance is lost. Still, i managed to find a couple of wines that i enjoyed.

So in the context of the blind tasting, it was hard to find wines that i really enjoyed. After about 30 it became impossible to taste them in the same way that i tasted the the wines before 30. So all these wines were wines i was able to taste later in a much more relaxed context.

2007 Oddero Barbera d’Asti: In my notes i have this listed as “a mystery” which generally means i dug something, but it was placed wrong in the tasting, or was just too hard to read with my mouth covered in wood tannins. Later on, at a more casual tasting, i was the only blogger with enough sense to use the stairs properly to track this producer down. Light, clean, old fashioned. Just what i needed.

Il Falchetto 2007 Barbera d’Asti “Lurei”: This didn’t show well in the tasting, but that may be because i was 57 wines deep by that time. Aged in older large format wood casks, this was the highlight of the whole day when retasted. This is the barbera i was hoping all the barberas would be.

i also discovered that when in a sea of barbera, all you really want is a moscato.

Next Up: The pernicious influence of wood, the most confusing discussion with a winemaker ever, and the concept of blind tasting 400 screamingly high acid wines at 9 in the morning.

Disclosure: all wine, food, lodging, and all transportation paid for by various interested parties. See http://barbera2010.com/ for details on the people and entities involved. My tasting notes have not been influenced in any way, nor has my work on this blog and/or site, but the content of any work appearing only on that blog may (or may not) have been edited for content. I stole this disclosure from Thor Iverson who seems not to care.

~ by Cory Cartwright on March 9, 2010.

6 Responses to “Barbera 2010: Day 1”

  1. […] —Saignée […]

  2. Your comments seem to accord with Koeppel’s. I’ve had a very hard time with Barberas, esp those from Asti. The paradox is that the ones that aren’t overloaded with oak are dismissed in America as being “light-weight” and so forth. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. But I can understand why the producers attempt to beef the wines up and, no doubt, sneak other grapes into them to flesh them out.

    Let’s face it, too many producers are vainly trying to create a wine as “important” as the Barolos and Barbarescos that hog all the attention, money and points.

  3. Interesting post. I agree in many ways, although I do like the wood on the Vietti barberas and the La Spinetta barberas. I also still think barbera is more interesting and has more potential than dolcetto.

  4. Dolcetto is now crying itself to sleep. Nice one Shea.

  5. […] Barbera, and a couple of Barbera comments worth reading In-senza-ble March 20, 2010 One taster calls it “the most confusing discussion with a winemaker ever.” I can’t quite go […]

  6. […] One taster calls it “the most confusing discussion with a winemaker ever.” I can’t quite go that far, since I’ve conversed with Nicolas Joly on more than one occasion, but it’s close. […]

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