In the Langhe region of Piemont, Nebbiolo is king, however you cannot overlook the wines of Barbera d’Alba. These are bright and fresh wines and a great example of how a grape variety has found the right region. Whilst Barbera is planted in other countries, it is really only in the regions around the town of Alba where they create wines of great interest and quality.
Some of these wines are made in a more “New World” style with aging in oak barriques, but most are made in a more traditional style with little to no oak, as the oak can overpower the fruit. This wine from the great Mauro Molino is an example of the latter.
Azienda Agricola Mauro Molino is a family run business. The property was purchased by Giuseppe Molino in 1953. However, Giuseppe’s son Mauro Molino, an expert winemaker, did not begin the actual production of wines until 1982 with his first Barolo vintage. It took him a while to bring the vineyards he inherited from his father up to speed, and raise the capital required to fund the venture. The Third generation has come on board with Mauro’s son Mateo joining the business in 2003 and then by his sister Martina in 2010. They have gained a strong following for the quality of the wines, especially their Barolo’s, but their Barbera D’Alba is always one of their most enjoyable and their biggest seller.
The wine has a vibrant and attractive deep ruby colour. It’s both aromatic and savoury at the same time. As it opens up, the fruit really kicks in with bright cherry, raspberry and red berry notes emerging. Being Italian, it also has some liquorice, spice and “tariness” as well. The mouthfeel of the wine is a pleasant surprise and gives more weight than you might expect. Bright, fresh, balanced acidity makes it a great food wine that’s delicious and approachable.