2015 Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti “Le Orme”

Just a quick take on this Barbera this evening. When thinking about wines that are a good value, Piedmont in Northeastern Italy rarely comes to mind. The wines are often highly sought after, expensive and not intended for early drinking. This is particularly true when we look at Barolo and Barbaresco but also holds true with Barbara to some extent. Besides, the wine and food loving Piedmontese drink a lot of their own wines so many of the most interesting wines only get exported in smaller quantities or to larger markets.7854157056_IMG_8862

With all this in mind you can imagine my surprise when I first tasted this Barbera D’Asti and then looked at the price tag to see it selling under $20. The price was right and so was the wine. This is not the pinnacle of Barbera but a highly pleasurable and supple wine nonetheless. The main fruit notes here are cherries, raspberries, cranberries and blueberries. Rustic earth and garrigue along with elevated acidity made this a pretty great wine for everyday drinking. Excellent wine to enjoy with a meat-heavy pizza with rich tomato sauce.

Do you have a favourite Barbera? Do you like the wines of Piedmont? I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers,
Ben

 

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2017 Cuvee Jean Paul Rouge Vaucluse

My initial thoughts upon smelling and tasting this wine was that it was going to be supremely quaffable. It’s one of those wines where vibrant red fruit pops out at you in the glass. A mix of primarily Grenache with Syrah to provide some interest and spice, it’s just the kind of wine that you would expect to find in the Southern Rhone. 7789102192_IMG_8852

The Southern Rhone, best known for it’s high octane Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines does produce many other more approachable and affordable wines that are often classified as Cotes-du-Rhone. One of the cool things about this wine is that it’s made in Vaucluse, which falls outside of the main appellations of the region. Therefore, it cannot be classified as such, and cannot demand as high a price as its neighbours. Pays de Vaucluse wines are not all sunshine and rainbows, with a lesser known region comes the potential for some less than perfect wine. That being said there are some good ones and this is one of them. Well made and ready to drink now, it’s on the lighter side and I could see myself having this was a roasted chicken or pork tenderloin dish. You could even chill it down for a short time to help brighten the flavours.

This one with its simple frame and juicy fruit isn’t about to win high-praise from the likes of Wine Spectator or the Wine Advocate but it’s sure to be a fan favourite at family gatherings or as a by the glass offering at your local bistro. Pick a bottle up for your weeknight craving, you won’t be disappointed.

Have a favourite from the region? I’d love to here about it!

Cheers,
Ben