2012 Central Ranges Barbera
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- 750 mL
Piedmont region of northwest Italy is best known for its Barolo's, magnificent wines made from the Nebbiolo grape. These wines can age for decades, have great structure and are generally saved for special occasions. For everyday, most people in the region turn to the easier more accessible Barbera wines. Among their many virtues, these wines are great with food, with its bracing acidity it is a brillant accompaniment, refreshing the palate and stimulating the appetite. This wine exhibits all the classic varietal characters of Barbera.
This years wine comes from a vineyard located in the foothills of Mount Canobolas. The cool climate and ancient volcanic soils combined produce high quality grapes with good intensity of flavour and high natural acidity.
Harvest date: 9th April 2012
The grapes were warm fermented in traditional open vats which were hand plunged. The wine was matured in older oak barrels for 12 months prior to bottling.
This wine has dry cherry and prune aromas with wild herb background.
Savoury flavours dominate the palate which is medium bodied and finishes with a firm acidity accompanied by fine soft tannins typical of this variety.
Barbera is a versatile partner with food. It is great with pizza, but also with all manner of meat sauces and grilled meats. If you are throwing a steak or sausages onto the grill, get out the Barbera!
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‘Foodability plus’ is how I would describe this barbera. David Hook is a Hunter Valley local making some big waves with Italian varietals. While he makes some classic Hunter Semillon and Shiraz, among his Italian varietals you will also find his suave De Novo Rosso which is a blend of barbera, nebbiolo and sangiovese. The barbera for this wine is sourced from a vineyard overlooked by Mt Canobolas in the cooler Central Ranges region.
Perhaps a touch more feminine than the De Novo Rosso, this barbera sits very prettily with its purple hues in the glass. There is a feisty spice to the roses and fresh cherry raspberry aromatics that are joined by some savoury dried herbs on the palate. Elegant and medium bodied, there is a touch of firmness to the tannins to ensure that this moda donna is not without substance. The flavours linger in the mouth a lot longer than the glimpse of a speeding Ferrari and are more satisfying as you take that next sip.
Sure it will be bellisimo with Antipasti but why limit your repertoire to Italian food with this wine? Instead, consider warm duck salad with garden fresh beetroot sprinkled with creamy feta and pomegranate, or lamb chops on a bed of herbed coucous to soften those tannins a little.
“Italy’s barbera grape tends to make brilliantly coloured reds with bright summer berry flavours, brisk acidity and soft tanins. David Hook’s version ticks all those boxes. But there’s another dimension, too, making this easily the best Australian expression of the style that I’ve tasted. The fleshy but not plump palate, and smooth, silky tannins make this a more complete, satisfying red without abandoning the varietal character.”
Take, for example, the David Hook Reserve Barbera 2011. Made in the true Italian style, this youthful wine is bright in the glass but savoury, that spawned the vines that were the genesis of this wine, rather than raisin-esque on the front. The soils of the Mount Canobolas Ranges have given the cherry and dried fruit medley flavours a decent head start while the terse acid backbone holds the wine together when the spicy edge of the rose-petal overtones drive their way through the middle and back end of the palate.
The beauty of the David Hook Barbera is the absence of any astringency or oaky taint that sometimes make you chew your value end Italian wine more than the food it accompanies!