Barbera Del Monferrato Maraia 2011


This week’s wine, the Barbera Del Monferrato Maraia 2011, is listed as number 66 on Wine Spectators top 100 wines for 2012.  This wine made me think of a brand new sail boat: like buying something that you saw at the boat show in January and getting the call from the boat yard to come down and take delivery, pure excitement and joy.  This is, of course, an odd feeling because not only have I never owned a sail boat, I don’t even know how to sail!
But, as I savor this wine I’m stuck the image of a beautiful new sleek sail boat.  The color was crimson red and bright, like the fiberglass and chrome of the hull.  The 2011 is a young wine vintage so the aroma was also very youthful, with lots of fresh red fruit.  With regards to the taste, and staying with the nautical analogy, I like battleships: big, bold, explosive wines, blasting through big waves with flourish.  This wine is a 12-meter yacht, gracefully leaning into the wind and going like at bat out of hell.  The taste was great, blackberries and plumbs which I felt were understated.  A fellow taster thought it was tannic and needed decantering, which is odd because I thought it was fine straight from the bottle.
It’s this difference in opinion that brings me to the next point about this wine, controversy!  I have read that many people don’t understand how this wine made Wine Spectators Top-100 list.  I guess I’m not smart enough to even ask the question.  This wine is no Nebbiolo, don’t expect miracles just because it’s on the top 100 list at $12!  What you have with this wine is a well put together wine from a top rated vineyard, Marchesi di Barolo, that gives great expression to the Barbera grape.  To put it bluntly, just drink it!  It’s a day sailor that will make you feel like you’re at the helm of something more elegant.
Now, should your budget allow you to move a little higher on the price scale, and you want to more fully explore Machesi di Barolo’s skill with grapes, plunk down the $75 to $80 for a bottle of Barolo Sarmassa 2007.  This is a luxury ride and winner of the Gambero Rosso coveted “tre bicchieri.”  If you do try a bottle, let me know what you think.  Enjoy!
Hi folks, Griffy here.  I’m very excited about  getting 68 hits on one day this week and I thank you all for pitching in by contacting friends to read the post.  If your new I hope you stay, I hope you liked the content and found value for your time spent.  I love Italian wines and I’ve got some absolute gems in the cellar that I’ll be talking about soon.  I also love exploring new varietals, stuff that I’ll bet you’ve never heard of, but once you know about them,  you’ll want to try as much as I do.  My travel plans over the next half year also have me expecting to tell you about some cool new wines.  Please stay with me and if you know of a wine (snob) Enthusiast drop them a note to drop by and check the blog out.

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