2014 Musso Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Their iconic wines include a series of single vineyard Barbaresco wines made of the Nebbiolo grape, but they also produce a variety of more affordable beverages showcasing the diversity Piedmont has to offer: Langhe Nebbiolo, Dolcetto d’Alba, Roero Arneis, Langhe Chardonnay to name but a few, and the Barbera wine from Alba reviewed here.
This Barbera d’Alba is obtained from grapes from the oldest vineyard of Musso estate located in the Rio Sordo area around the village of Barbaresco.
The soil here is of white appearance, made up of limestone with some layers of clay giving additional firmness to the ground. The site’s exposure is favorable thanks to a south-west orientation which stays all afternoon in the summer sun.
After hand-harvesting, the grapes are gently pressed and destemmed. A portion of the juice is fermented in steel tanks while the other half performs ferments in 500-liter wine barrels. The two wines are eventually blended after fermentation to find the best balance.
The overall maturation process takes about 12 months in two phases: the wine first spends a few months in barrels of 500 liters and is then transferred into larger 2,000-liter barrels.
The wine comes in a bright red color, with solid intensity without being very dark.
The nose displays rather intense fresh acidic berry fruit notes: blueberry, raspberry. It is also, and more distinctively super spicy, black pepper being the dominant spicy note, together with some clove, and peppermint almost.
This particular bottle had a bit of a dusty smell, not corked but affecting the full enjoyment of the smell.
On the palate, it’s a world as if you’d just picked wood berries and put them into your mouth. Delicately acidic, with a touch of fruity sweetness and ripeness to it, yet fresh and crispy.
Decently solid body, some warmth from the alcohol and ripeness but not over the top, smooth tannins overall with a little grip to the finish in a typical Barbera wine fashion.
Yet it’s well ripe, not overly so, with no vegetal characters like Barbera can sometimes display. Everything tends to indicate that this has come from very good fruit picked at the right moment, rather more on the ripe side of things, for a positive result in this case.
Plenty of personality, and a lot to enjoy in this crisp yet fruity wine.
Wine & Food pairing
The upfront spiciness is an invitation to marry this wine with grilled meats, probably more the lean ones offering more subtlety to match the wines elegance. This Barbera will bring the extra-peppery notes to complement your barbecue meat’s seasoning, in a refine yet easy-to-appreciate wine fashion.
Find out more about the producing Azienda and more wine reviews at Musso winery profile: