Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wine Blogging Wednesday #54 – A Passion for Piedmont

I must admit I was so behind on this Wine Blogging Wednesday that I had to go back several times to remind me what it was about.

David McDuff at McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail hosts this month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday. He noted that when talking about Italy most people are familiar with the region of Tuscany and the wines of Chianti and Chianti Classico.

Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including the Monviso (Mont Vis), where the Po rises, and the Monte Rosa. It borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Aosta Valley. The Geography of Piedmont is that of a territory predominantly mountainous, 43.3%, but with extensive areas of hills which represent 30.3% of the territory, and of plains (26.4%). Piedmont is the second largest of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, after Sicily.

I really love Piedmont. It is actually my go-to region in Italy when I order off a wine list. My favorite grape is Barbera, with is why for this WBW I chose Guidobono Barbera D’Alba 2006.

The Barbera vine is very vigorous and capable of producing high yields if not kept in check by pruning and other methods. Excessive yields can diminish the fruit quality in the grape and accentuate Barbera's natural acidity and sharpness. In Piedmont, the vine was prized for its yields and ability to ripen two weeks earlier than Nebbiolo even on vineyard sites with less than ideal exposure. This allowed the Piedmontese winemakers in regions like Alba to give their best sites over to the more difficult to cultivate Nebbiolo and still produce quality wine with Barbera that could be consumed earlier while the Nebbiolo ages.

The Guidobono Barbera D’Alba was decent but not amazing. When I poured the wine I noticed a very deep red/purple color. Very inky. When I stuck my nose in I found a bit of sweet blackberry, very ripe with a nice fleshy smell. There is also some minerality that does a good job of holding back from being sharp. When I tasted the wine the fruit is a little lost when it hits my mouth. There is an immediate drying sensation while the wine is still in my mouth. There is a ton of acidity, almost over the top. I can pick out a fruit here and there, but the wine’s almost sour acidity covers it up. Definitely drinkable, but I want to have some food ready to soak it up.
Copyright 2009 Wine Post: Wine & Spirits Blog. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan