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.
- Cabernet Sauvignon249
- Pinot Noir173
- Bordeaux Red Blends138
- Other Red Blends119
- Rhône Blends53
- Tuscan Blends14
- Other Red Wine13
- Cabernet Franc9
- Petite Sirah7
- Nero d'Avola4
- Petit Verdot4
La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti Ca Di Pian 2015Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato 2015Barbera from Piedmont, Italy
Braida Il Baciale Monferrato Rosso 2015Barbera from Piedmont, Italy
Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 2015Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Braida Ai Suma Barbera d'Asti 2015Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Prunotto Barbera d'Alba Pian Romualdo 2015Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy