A Budget Barbera

Winery: Riva Leone

Vintage: 2012
Wine Name/Vineyard: Piemonte
Wine Category: Barbera
Grape blend: 100% Barbera
Bottle size: 750 ml
Region: Piedmont
State or country: Italy
Price: $12.00
ABV: 13.5%
Cases produced: N/A
The Barrel Cellar Score: 85 points
Review date: July 09, 2020

About the Winemaker: Barbera is the favorite wine of those who reside in Piedmont, Italy. The rolling hills and climate provide conditions that are well suited to the vine’s needs. The relatively cool temperatures of this region in Italy allows for a long and even ripening period for the grapes maturing on the vine. Late season spikes in heat are rare allowing for a well-balanced and complex wine vintage after vintage.

Color: Deep maroon

Nose: Oak, honeysuckle, dried fig

Taste: Plum skin, dried herbs, oak, blackberry, and hints of raisin.  Black pepper on the finish

Assessment: This is an interesting wine; it’s full bodied and dry, but not dry like you would typically expect when you hear a wine is dry. It’s as if the dryness comes more from a lack of sugar than big tannins. Additionally, there are lots of herb and spice flavor notes in this bottle. I also detect a hint of crushed pine nut, which is quite unique for a wine! For all the strength this wine offers in its variety of flavor notes, the wine is lacking in texture, the body doesn’t seem to match up with the flavor profile of the wine, and the acidity is a bit too sharp for my tastes. Overall, the value is solid given the $12 price tag. Ready to drink now.

Riva Leone “Piemonte” Barbara is a good value wine. 85 points.

Pairing recommendation: I’d pair with something sweet; dark chocolate or chocolate covered fruit.

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