Italian Expression


Two varietals were discussed today, Barbera and Sangiovese.

First was easy-drinking Barbera, a Piedmontese grape that contributes much of the state’s everyday table wine.  Born in Monferrato, this productive “workhorse grape” – a pet name for this preferred quaffer – allows a light, semi-tart wine that expresses red fruits like sour cherry and licorice. Interestingly, the Camparo intoned a pleasant sour cherry finish, too, yet with enough upfront red-berry flavor to distinguish it and keep it attractive to a Pinot Noir lover.

Next poured was Campogiovanni’s Brunello di Montalcino, made from a superior Sangiovese clone that finds expression in the limestone and sand of Montalcino. The varietal – naturally thin-skinned and used widely for Chianti and Chianto Classico – excels in this environment, creating rich, diverse wines expressing highly prized soy, dark red fruit, and spice. Campogiovanni drinkers will discover these intricacies, the likes of which continue to develop as the wine aerates. Decanting is highly recommended.


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