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Friendly, approachable and full of juicy red fruit, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but it is also planted in a few nearby Italian provinces and remains one of the most widely planted varieties in the country. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and some southern hemisphere wine regions.
In the Glass
Barbera is typically marked by flavors of red cherry, raspberry or blackberry and backed by a signature zingy acidity. Warmer sites produce Barberas with intensely ripe fruit and complex notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise and nutmeg. Cooler sites will produce a lighter Barbera with more finesse and intriguing notes of cranberry, graphite, smoke, lavender and violet.
Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers or barbecue.
In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and unoaked—abound, at least in Piedmont. In fact, many Piemontese producers today still make a deliciously pure, fruity and unoaked version, intended for earlier consumption. The wine world didn't realize Barbera's potential until the work of Giacomo Bologna in Asti in the 1960s. His debut of the barrique-aged Barbera called Bricco dell’Uccellone revealed this grape's true potential. Many of the better bottlings of Piemontese Barbera can age gracefully for 10-15 years or more.
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- Cabernet Sauvignon396
- Bordeaux Red Blends204
- Rhône Blends87
- Other Red Blends72
- Petite Sirah26
- Other Red Wine15
- Cabernet Franc13
- Touriga Nacional2
- Nero d'Avola1
- Petit Verdot1
- Tuscan Blends1
Elio Altare Barbera d'Alba 2017Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Jeff Runquist R Dick Cooper Vineyard Barbera 2017Barbera from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Ca Di Pian 2014Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Urban Legend Cellars Cooper Ranch Barbera 2015Barbera from Shenandoah Valley, Sierra Foothills, California
Idlewild Fox Hill Barbera 2016Barbera from Mendocino, California
Seam Barnum Vineyard Barbera 2013Barbera from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
Palmina Walker Vineyard Barbera 2015Barbera from Los Olivos District, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
La Spinetta Barbera d'Alba Gallina 2014Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Lava Cap Barbera 2016Barbera from El Dorado, Sierra Foothills, California
La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Ca Di Pian (375ML half-bottle) 2015Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Idlewild Fox Hill Barbera 2015Barbera from Mendocino, California
Forlorn Hope San Hercurmer delle Frecce Barbera 2015Barbera from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California