Barbera 2010: On Wood

Sitting down and tasting 68 Barberas yesterday made something quite clear to me.
Wood can ruin wine. Wood can ruin Barbera.
When we talk about flaws in wine we generally talk about flaws that are not intended by the winemaker. Brett. Volatile acidity. TCA. those kinds of flaws. But there i was tasting and the thing that made me recoil more than anything else was the liberal use of the barrique. Barbera after barbera were poured into the dump bucket after the only thing i wrote down was some:
Woody.
Woodesque.
Woooooooooody.
Woodsist.
In an attempt to beef up these wines the winemakers have taken the very essential parts of barbera and obliterated them. Some blind tasted reminscent of new world cabernet. That clarion acidity that makes these wines so perfect, so wonderful with food had been smoothed over, a superhighway when a country would suffice. There were exceptions, of course, but the rule was barriqued, concentrated wine.
Thor Iverson mentioned that the war between the traditionalists and the modernists seems to be mostly over. It seems he may be right.

Up next: In which i meet a producer who knows how to treat a wine, On blind tastings, a serious assesment (or as serious as you can imagine from me), What the Belgians have to say, and my new hero.
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.

3 Responses to “Barbera 2010: On Wood”

  1. […] —Saignée […]

  2. Volatile acidity, a flaw? Maybe I misread your post, but I personally like a little v.a. in some wines, it provides a ledge from which we can peer over into the abyss.

    I do agree with you about wood. I prefer wood to not have such a dominance in wine and in BBQ. Personal preference.

    Are you all still sequestered in meeting rooms? Is it time to “Free the Barbera 7” ??

    • Most people consider VA a flaw, and it can definitely destroy a wine. A little can go a long way, however.

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