The Piedmont region of Northern Italy, surrounded by the Alps, is home to Italy's third most planted grape variety - Barbera. Barbera d'Asti has the most vines, with many of the vineyards planted on the lower slopes and in sheltered areas resulting in fresher styles. Intense aromas of red cherries, vanilla, rose petals and spice leap from the glass, with the intense, powerful palate exhibiting an elegant balance of fruit and tannin to a long, smooth and crisp finish. Drinkable now, matched with salumi or antipasti, or aged for up to 6 years. The wine will benefit from being decanted before drinking.
Nebbiolo takes it name from 'nebbia', the fog cloaking the hills of Piedmont around harvest time. The village of Barbaresco lies only a little to the north-east of Barolo in Piedmont and produces wines of a similar style and quality. A big, elegant wine of pale colour. Dark cherries and leather with earthy hints, and a rose perfume, a charming, well integrated wine with a long finish. Muscular tannins give the wine a solid backbone. Try this with a fillet steak with mushrooms. The wine will nicely echo the earthy notes of the mushrooms.
Marsannay is the most northerly village in the Cotes de Nuits, just 6 km to the south-west of Dijon. Here starts the Route des Grands Crus which goes through the Côte d’Or vineyards. It is unique in Burgundy for having AC status for red, white and rose wines. A pale yellow colour leads to a nose of white flowers and lime blossom. A harmonious and well-balanced wine, vinified without oak for a fresher character. A subtle wine with finesse and a good length. It is delicious while still young but a few years of cellaring will make it even more appealing.