2014 Costa Di Bussia Tenuta Arnulfo Barbera D'Alba

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, and spent time with their loved ones. My family is currently on vacation in Vail, Colorado, and since my mom and I don't ski, we will have a lovely vacation of relaxing and drinking wine. This week I tried a 2014 Costa Di Bussia Tenuta Arnulfo Barbera D'Alba that my fiance picked up at a local liquor store in Vail. He was looking for a European Pinot Noir, but got overwhelmed by how the  organization and just grabbed this instead. Barbera grapes are primarily grown in Italy and they are know to produce wine that has high acidity, mild tannins, and a rich deep color. This Barbera comes from the Piemonte region of Italy. Due to the high elevation in this region, Barbera D'Alba tends to be bolder than a typical Barbera, and it has a stronger structure. This Costa Di Bussia Barbera seemed pretty typical of the region.

I typically aerate my wine before I drink it, using a simple aerator pourer that just goes into the top of the bottle like a cork. I personally use the Baen Sendi aerator and have found that it works very well. However, since I'm on vacation right now, I didn't have my aerator with me when I tried this wine, and I could definitely taste that it wasn't aerated, so I left the glass out for half an hour before really drinking it.

When I smelled the wine after opening it I got notes of bright red berries, plums, and oak. I poured a glass almost immediately after opening it and attempted to swirl it around it the glass a bit to aerate it, but that wasn't particularly effective. The glasses were too narrow to get a good swirl going. I tasted it after swirling for a bit and it was very acidic with extremely mild tannins. It didn't taste particularly well-balanced. I tasted raspberries, cherries, ginger, with a bit of a lime and orange peel aftertaste. I didn't taste any of the plum or oak that I had originally smelled. Since it tasted a bit off, and I hadn't aerated it, I left the wine out in the glass while I did some other things around the cabin, and came back to it.

When I came back to the wine about half an hour later, it tasted so much better. It definitely just needed time to breathe. It was still relatively acidic, but less so. I would put it at medium-high acidity instead of high acidity, and the tannins were a bit more powerful. The red berry notes were still there but less powerful, and I also got notes of plum, oak, vanilla, and some earthiness. The orange peel finish was still present, but the lime notes were pretty much gone, which I appreciated, and overall the wine was much more balanced and enjoyable.

My mom and I drank this while snacking on some hummus and pita chips, but that was mainly because we didn't have much other food in the cabin to pair it with. I would recommend drinking this with a Neapolitan style pizza or with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. It's a solid, enjoyable wine, not too fussy or fancy, and it would go great with some simple, but well-made, Italian food. I would probably buy this again for a casual dinner at home. It was a good value, only $14, for a satisfying Italian red wine.