2015 De Forville Barbaresco
January is the ultimate red wine month. It’s cold outside, maybe snowy depending on where you live, all the holiday parties are over, so it’s just easier to stay in and snuggle up on the couch with a big glass of red. Red wine is just so much cozier than white or rose. I’ve been drinking almost exclusively red wine for the past two or three months. This week’s wine is a nice medium bodied red, a Barbaresco from Piedmont, Italy that I bought through SommSelect. Barbaresco is made from Nebbiolo grapes, which is generally considered the highest end of the three primary grapes from the Piedmont region. The other two grapes are Dolcetto and Barbera, which are typically made into lighter bodied wines than Nebbiolo. Personally, Piedmont is my favorite wine region in Italy. In my taste, wines from this region tend to have an elegant delicateness and lovely floral notes that I love. Barbaresco is a DOCG classification, that means that in order for a wine put the Barbaresco name on the label, the winemakers have to follow specific regulations. Barbaresco is a sub-region of Piedmont, but not every wine made there is called a Barbaresco. It has to have been aged for at least two years before bottle, with at least 9 months out of those two years in oak. The other 15 months can be in bottle. And, it must be at least 12.5% abv. These kinds of regulations are a form of quality control, to ensure that wines that are labelled as being from that region have a minimum level of quality. Old World wines, think Western Europe, tend to have more and stricter regulations governing when wines can be labelled from official regions. The Americas and New Zealand/Australia are much less strict.
More important than region designation or regulations, is how the wine actually tastes. I really enjoyed this wine. It was very complex and layered, but still very drinkable. When I poured my first (of three that night lol) glass I smelled dark fruit and violets with a leathery undertone. My first taste of the wine had a great texture to it; silky, smooth, and very full. It’s a strong, medium-bodied wine that still has some delicateness to it. It had some nice dark fruit notes, but it was more floral forward. Dark cherries and currants came to mind, but violet and rose notes were stronger, and brought in that delicateness. It also had rich notes on the back end; leather and vanilla. I paired this wine with meatballs with marinara and roasted broccoli. It was a great pairing. The wine was strong enough that it needed a hearty meat or mushroom dish to stand up to it, but a steak probably would’ve been too much. The meatballs were perfect, but it would also be great paired with lamb. This is definitely a wine that begs to be drank with a meal.