I Love Organic Wine – A Piedmont, Italy Barbera

I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera

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Barbera is one of the most widely planted red grapes in Italy. It comes in several varieties, and to be frank Barbera del Monferrato is not at the top of this list. Nuova Cappelletta is dedicated to organic food and wine production. They are located in Vignale Monferrato of the Piedmont region of northern Italy, where they breed cattle and grow cereal on hundreds of acres of which some 74 acres are vineyards. I can only imagine how their wine pairs with their beef. Let me quote the company website concerning their commitment to organic production: “The entire estate is a certified for organic farming since 1986 and all its produce meets the Demeter standards for biodynamic agriculture. According to these principles, the farm is managed for sustainability, and all activities are interconnected. As an example, culture rotation and cattle manure together with the diversified cultivations are fundamental to maintain a well balanced and sustainable land fertility.”

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY: All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed: Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato 2007 13.0% alcohol cost about $15.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. Description : Winner of a Gold Medal at the Concorso Internazionale del Vino Biologico del BioFach 2009. The fruit for this wine is certified organic and biodynamically grown. A easy-drinking wine with lots of cherry, cranberry, tobacco and underbrush aromas. This well-balanced, ripely fruity Barbera is a good choice for beef or lamb stews, or mushroom risotto. Our Quality Assurance Laboratory has determined that this wine contains 35 mg/L of free sulphur. And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine tasted of dark chocolate. It was chewy and showed great balance between its acidity and tannins. Its first pairing was with home made chicken “nuggets” with Mediterranean spices and an orange slightly sweet, slightly spicy Thai dipping sauce. The wine’s acidity increased somewhat. This Barbera was long with dark cherries and a touch of tobacco. The wine really knew how to deal with the accompanying potatoes roasted in chicken fat. The acidity washed the grease away and the tobacco taste intensified. There was also an overly spicy salsa with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cilantro that did not mute the wine.

The next meal involved a boxed eggplant parmigiana that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The wine exhibited some chocolate; it was long with a good balance between its acidity and tannins. I enjoyed the wine but felt that it was wasted on this meal.

My final meal was composed of barbecued beef ribs in a sweet ketchup-based sauce. This wine was mouth filling with the usual black cherry and tobacco but there was more. It was hearty. The accompaniments were the same as in the first pairing and the results were basically the same except that the salsa managed to cut the wine a bit.

I ended the bottle with two local cheeses. When paired with a relatively tasteless brick cheese, the wine was mouth filling and had nice length and good fruit. This was a good combo. When facing a tastier Swiss cheese, the Barbera became somewhat sweet. It was long and fruity, tasting of cherries.

Final verdict. I liked this wine and I liked this price. I would probably buy it again but instead I’m going to look for a “better” Barbera.

Over the years Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but really prefers drinking fine German wine, along with friends and the right foods. He teaches sundry computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.

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I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera
I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera
I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera
I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera
I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera

I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera

I Love Organic Wine - A Piedmont, Italy Barbera