Posts Filed Under Italian Wine
VinItaly is… well… totally folle.
Held in Verona, Italy, bringing together hundreds of soon-to-be-inebriated members of the wine biz/trade/press/you-name-it, and functioning as a focal point for all (and I do mean all) of the wine regions of Italy, there is no other world wine event that combines quite the same blend of creativity, craftsmanship, and chaos.
Throngs of the soon-to-be-drunken at VinItaly 2017
That VinItaly has been held for decades and still isn’t quite what the Germans would consider as appropriately organized is less a statement about the event itself (which is, all in all, quite well-run), and much more an aspect of the reality that no one (and I say this as someone of Italian descent) is going to be able to successfully corral that many Italians in one place at the same time.
Cleaning up (apart from the shaving) for VinItaly 2017 in Verona
VinItaly, for all of its madcap madness, is actually an overwhelming surfeit of vinous pleasure for lovers of Italian wine. Weaving in an out of the complex of crowded, airplane-hangar-sized event spaces (organized by Italian wine regions), on the second day of the event I actually found myself wondering if I was going to be able to make it the full four days. And I’m an extrovert.
But once everything was over, I found myself loving VinItaly. Not despite the madness, but because of it; because that unpredictable chaos is baked into the DNA of Italy, and, to some extent, its wines. So it’s fitting that some of my most memorable tasting episodes took place entirely by chance while I was there on a media invite earlier this year.
Because VinItaly is so, well, folle, I’m going to break up the highlights into two separate posts. As always with 1WD feature material, the focus is on the stuff that I fond most interesting; the wines that really blew my dress up for whatever reasons. There are a few too many highlights for me to give them the badge treatments, which I hope and trust that you’ll forgive. Not all of these wines are available stateside, and I’m hoping that some focus here can help rectify that.
So pour yourself a glass of something obscure from the Italian hinterlands, and let’s delve headfirst into the chaos…
Read the rest of this stuff »
In my latest piece for MyNameIsBarbera.com, we compare the top of the Barbera DOCG quality pyramid to a character who carries an actual piece; namely, 007 himself.
I hope that you’ll forgive the somewhat graphic JB image above… it’s one of my favorites, and it’s more dynamic – though not nearly as pretty! – as vineyard images from Nizza vineyards, like this one:
See? No real thrilling action going on there. That comes after harvest, oak aging, and bottle aging, after which Nizza DOCG Barbera wines ought to thrill lovers of Italian reds, because they are as serious, powerful, and age-worthy as Barbera gets. Hit up the link below for the details on that…
NIZZA DOCG, A SMOKING DRESSED BARBERA
The venerable Barbera d’Asti Superiore as… The Incredible Hulk?
Yeah, it’s probably a stretch… BUT…
There’s something to be said for a superhero of an Italian red that is perennially underestimated, and yet in its best examples can stand up in aging to its more glamorous Asti-area cousins Barbaresco and Barolo. At least, that’s the case I make in my latest piece for MyNameIsBarbera.com.
And yes, I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced this stuff first-hand.
When touring the Monferrato region last year, I had the chance to get my grubby little paws on a few older bottles of Barbera d’Asti Superiore, and I was frankly stunned at how well they’d held up over the years. Take, for example, the 1999 Bava Stradivario, Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG. At nearly twenty years old, that wine was vibrantly, energetically alive, still had a tart red fruit core, and earthy, ample spiciness. It wasn’t just “drinkable;” it was refined, elegant, and surreptitiously powerful. In other words, it was kicking ass.
Anyway, read on and you can tell me if I’m crazy or not…
BIG BIG BIG. BIG BARBERA D’ASTI SUPERIORE
In my latest article for MyNameIsBarbera.com, I make a case for legitimately comparing Barbera d’Asti to… Michael Jackson.
Yeah, that Michael Jackson.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson.
My penchant for stretching cross-discipline compares to incredibly thin levels aside (I wonder if the Barbera d’Asti folks knew what they were getting into when they picked me up for this gig?), I think that the simile in this case isn’t much of a stretch.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a wine region + grape combination that combines the same wide appeal, high base quality levels, raw potential, and large production/availability as Asti and Barbera at what we often think of as the “entry” level for those wines. Think about it… there are others that could be argued as the King of Pop Wine, but the list is pretty short.
You can read the entire piece at the link below (and then come back to heckle to me if you think I was off the mark… which I wasn’t… ok, whatever…):
BARBERA D’ASTI, THE KING OF POP WINE