Mauro Veglio Barbera d’Alba 2014

Italia’s bronze-placegetter in the acreage stakes is Barbera, which could work either way. It’s either overlooked or overhyped.

Happily, it’s the former and not the latter, which is wonderful because it means there’ll be plenty of choice in future and a sufficiently large consumer base (in italy, one imagines) so that it need not be promoted elsewhere.

The advantage of being a poor-ish cousin is that no-one cares what you do, nor do they have expectation. You can keep on doing what you do best and not have to explain yourself to those who might want more or less from you, for their own reasons.

In any case, #3 here is a delight. Quite it’s own beast, barbera is a kind of melange of a bunch of interesting characteristics. A calm vanilla and blackberry nose could be from new world shiraz or zinfandel, but the violet, dried strawberry, sour cherry and juicy acids are not.

An intriguing phenomenon of simultaneous fruit on the front of the tongue and drier elements towards the sides left me with the sensation of this being a dry wine…and yet not.

In a global view this wine is a strong competitor for any pinot noir, especially anything from the new world. Low tannins high acid and those cherry notes ring familiar; the way primary and secondary notes combine do not…and that’s a good thing.

After a day’s air the fruit melted away leaving the lovely dryness. Fascinating.