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Barbera d’Alba Ceretto 2019
Is it a grape, is it a wine, is it a place? Well it’s sort of all three: the grape is Barbera, the DOC is Barbera d’Alba and the place is the Langhe and the Roero Hills, the former containing the specific DOCGs of Barolo and Barbaresco.
Barbera could be seen to be something of a poor relation – by far the most widely grown grape in Piedmont (the Barbera d’Asti DOCG is even bigger), but overshadowed by the more famous (and expensive) Nebbiolo grape that goes into Barolo and Barbaresco. Given the prices that these renowned wines can achieve, it’s surprising that Barbera gets a look in. But luckily some enlightened winemakers recognise that in certain terroirs, the Barbera grape produces stunning wine.
Ceretto, a family owned winery, plant their Barbera on the lower slopes of the Roero Hills, just north of Alba. There’s little oak involved in the winemaking, but that doesn’t stop the Barbera grape making great food wine. Approachable at a much younger age than Nebbiolo, but with a lighter tannic structure, good acidity and appealing red and black fruits, I think Barbera is one of the great discoveries of the tours I have run to Piedmont. It’s incredibly versatile – it can complement simple pasta dishes, classy steaks and even fish. Pecorino di Fossa, my favourite cave aged cheese is perfect.
Italy – North
|Food matching suggestions||
Hearty casseroles, Lighter stews, Pizza and Pasta, Roasts – meat or veg/pulse bakes, Steak/Rare roasts (or veggie roasts), Tomato based bakes eg melanzane
|Cheese Matching Suggestions||
Low moisture hard cheeses eg Parmigiano, Pecorino, Manchego