Wine Review: 2007 Ronchi Barbaresco

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The truth is I love wine for the experience of it. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in your own sensory riches, and through them explore the specifics of a beautiful world. It is easy for people to take wine culture as elitist, or inaccessible. I suppose at times some people do in fact act that way too. But ignoring the loveliness of wine for such reasons is missing out on truly special opportunities for joy.

Wine to me is the consideration of a story. Each wine has its history behind it–the development of the vineyard itself, the family that invested in making it happen, the intricacies of making the aromas, and flavors of particular grapes sing their most beautiful. The considerations that go into bringing out the expression of any particular wine are indicative of both the simplicity and brilliance of which humanity is capable.

Barbaresco is considered to be one of the finest expressions of Nebbiolo. Carrying a dark, almost black skin, the Nebbiolo grape offers some of the strongest tannins of any varietal. It is most often also touched with a strong acidity. As such, the producer of a Nebbiolo based wine must consider the best ways to bring out more fruit from the grape to establish balanced flavors, and also how to best enliven the complexities of a wine that requires age in a market that wants to drink wine young.

In the grip of such a strong grape, Barbaresco is known for accomplishing such balance and with it also delicacy of flavors. There is a pleasant lightness found in a good Barbaresco, even as the wine itself will likely have a full body. This particular Barbaresco furthers the charm by dancing a smooth or silky mouth feel, with a kind of freshness in the flavors associated with a younger wine. Again, Nebbiolo is often thought of as a grape that needs age. In this particular Barbaresco, the wine does well with drinking now, and at the same time could certainly develop further with a rest in your cellar.

2007 is considered to be a particularly good year for the grapes of this region. North Berkeley Imports, who brought this particular wine to North America, describes the wine maker, Giancarlo Rocca, as having taken full, and simple advantage of the gifts of this vintage by presenting a straightforward expression of it. The result is lovely.

I am grateful to have gotten to taste this wine now. It does well with some time in the decanter, as any Nebbiolo wine generally well. If you can manage the wait, I recommend holding onto it too for drinking a few years from now.

If you’re considering any Nebbiolo wines, I recommend allowing yourself time with them. This grape brings a rare balance of strength and delicacy that does well with a slower approach to the tasting and drinking. It generally offers a wine to simultaneously enjoy and learn from–a beautiful kind of balance.

As with any wine I like to say the first question is always, is it interesting? Only after spending time with that do you then ask yourself, do I like it? This Barbaresco is a wine that pleasantly answers Yes to both questions.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. […] As mentioned last week, one of my favorite elements of wine is the story behind it. Torbreck founder and wine maker, David Powell, has spent his life since college striving to learn wine making practices around the world. He originates in Southern Australia, positioning him to understand the unique climates and cultural elements of growing wine in the Barossa Valley. But further, he has deepened his understanding of wine growing techniques by working in the wine industry in both the United States and Europe. Charmingly too, his website celebrates his experience laboring as a wood cutter in Scotland, and names this experience as the inspiration behind his Woodcutter’s Shiraz. […]

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