Barbera D'alba Bric Loira 1999 - Printable Version

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- brappy - 12-05-2005

Barbera D'alba Bric Loira 1999
alc 14%
Did not decant; just opened and poured.

Color: Dark candy red
Nose: cherries, dried currants, small hint of caramel or tofee

Palate: very tannic, more dried red currant, also concentrated dried cherries on the back of the palate. There's something else on the palate I can't identify.

I asked my wife to smell and taste. Directly after smelling she said "Peroxide". After tasting she said she couldn't get past the peroxide to taste anything else. So, I went back to my desk, smelled for alcohol vapors.......nothing. It's not alcohol, but maybe a bit of unidentifiable funk of some sort. Not in a bad way, but maybe just... interesting. I'm going to let this one sit for an hour, then see what happens.

Just over an hour later and the funk is gone, not 100%, but close. The fruit has really come alive and seems almost youthful, or at least more youthful than I expected. Tannins are still a bit rough so, I hope I'm not making a mistake, but I'm going to decant the last half of the bottle.

Half hour later and just tasted again. Wow, what a difference. The "Funk" is completely gone. The tannins are still present but have softened. There is now some earth and a touch of mineral to the nose and palate. The fruit is very concentrated.

I've tasted several Barbera D'albas before but never took the wine seriously and never took notes. This wine was suggested from a wine merchant that I've grown to trust. (She's not always on, but I respect her judgement and knowledge.) Next time, I'll know better how to approach this wine. What a nice grape; I can't wait to do this again.

BTW, I believe the "Funk" was just the ulage (sp) blowing off but I could be wrong.


- Kcwhippet - 12-06-2005

Some cork manufacturers are using hydrogen peroxide now instead of chlorine to disinfect the corks. This is one way they're trying to avoid TCA.

BTW, ullage is the air space between the bottom of the cork and the top of the wine.

- hotwine - 12-06-2005

Barbera d'Alba needs to be served at room temperature; even cellar temp is too cool IMO. And aeration does help the wine come out of its sleep. Just pouring the glasses and letting them sit undisturbed for at least an hour can bring them around. (Kind of like Slick Willie with an intern, I can't leave 'em alone that long.)

- Innkeeper - 12-06-2005

You should have decanted Mark. This is just the sort of wine we routinely decant. It and its less acidic cousin Dolcetto, though both great wines, are wont to thow premature sediment as well. Methinks them Northeastern Italians don't favor fining and filtering their wines.

- brappy - 12-06-2005

Definitely will decant next time. There's always a first. Live and learn. Thanks for the comments.


- hotwine - 12-06-2005

Must confess I don't decant a Barbera. Haven't had a problem with sediment at all. Bordeaux, however, is another matter entirely.