Perhaps no other varietal represents its terroir’s character more definitively than the Barbera wines of Monferrato.  In Northern Italy, surrounded by the Alps, lies Piedmont – one of the most native wine growing regions of the world.  The climate provides rich moisture, cool nights, and hot summer days.  The soil’s clay character, combined with an abundance of quartz-sand gives the grapes distinct flavors and aromas.  Many find Barbera wines very rustic and old-world in style and flavor profile, and this wine is no exception.  The 2011 Marchesi di Barolo Barbera del Monferrato Maràia fits the bill – 12 bills to be exact.  It has an intense blackberry bouquet, with hints of licorice, and it’s flavor offers tart black cherry, fresh acidity, and spice.  It’s medium to full-bodied, and is often called “the people’s wine” of Northern Italy for its popularity and versatility with food.  Pair it with hearty pastas, polenta, and roasted meats.  If you love everyday Italian, take a break from Chianti, venture north, and try this Barbera.  Your wallet and your palette will say “grazie mille.” –JT


2011 MARCHESI DI BAROLO Barbera del Monferrato Maràia




Related scores: WS-90 (#66 on Top 100 of 2012, “Best Value”)

Market price: $12


Recommended food pairing:

Tagliatelle with Chicken Livers & Truffle: Tarajin Albese (inspired by Mario Batali)