2013 Tenuta Carretta Bric Quercia Barbera d’Alba Superiore, Piedmont, Italy
After fermentation, it was aged for 12 months in small oak casks.
This Piemontese Barbera comes in a rather dark red color, bright red to the rim with hints of purple hues, fairly dark to the core.
The nose is pungent and pretty vibrant, although a little tight and restrained at first. Give it a good aeration and a little time to open, pouring it into a decanter (like I did, see Youtube Video below) and waiting for a 20-minute to half an hour will help revealing a more appealing and the full vibrancy of its aromatic profile.
Once open, the nose is quite vibrant indeed, filled with crisp and acidic red berry aromas, just-ripe raspberry and blueberry, as well as with a bursting peppery spiciness. It’s so peppery it’s almost minty to smell at!
Add some deeper notes of licorice and clove and you’ll have an idea of how pungent and spicy the nose is on this Barbera.
The palate first feels quite opulent, full of rich ripe red berry notes. Dark cherry and blackberry dominate. But there is so much vibrant acidity, that these ripe fruit characters give a very fresh red fruity sensation, like biting in a fresh berry rather than scooping a spoon of berry jam.
The lifted spices help in that way as well, providing minty and peppery freshness. There is a clear juniper flavor in this wine, adding to the sensation of freshness, like juniper helps the citrus notes in a gin. Quite remarkable, and rare at such level of pungency and concentration.
Tannins come in a medium concentration, but we don’t expect a huge tannic wine from Barbera anyway. They are silky and dense enough, although coming in strongly with a biting grip from the mid-palate onwards.
Plenty of zesty red berry flavors and well as much herbal scents to the relatively long finish.
Dry, acidic, but ripe and super-pungent a Barbera wine. It provides a wealth of complexity but always lifted and spicy, freshly fruity. Grippy and characterful, it is yet refined and relatively round-bodied for the style, with somewhat silky tannins well rounded up by fine oaky phenolics and touches of oaky vanilla and caramel tones.
A few more years of ageing (at least three) would finish rounding up this lively Barbera and temper its keen character. From there, I would think that another 5 to 7 years won’t harm it. Drink between 2020 and 2027 then.
Watch Tenuta Carretta Bric Quercia Barbera d’Alba in Video
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