What I love about Barbaresco

Neive Luna 102110

Here I sit in my home in California, 6,000 miles away from the source. I take one draw from the Barbaresco I just poured in my glass and …

Immediately I am taken back to that wine bar in Neive, Al Nido della Cinciallegra where I went once with those lucky Americans who now make that village their home. It’s the one with heavily lacquered floors, wooden shelves lined with local wines, and a bar full of open bottles. Across the room I smell pieces of fresh cheese on bread and slices of salumi, laid out for apertivo.

apertivo plate, from their website, at the link above.

I smell the fresh roses in the vineyards and dried rose petals too.

rosa rosso

rosa rose

rosa gialla

I see the Alba market strawberries. I taste figs—figs fresh from the tree of my agriturismo, Le Viole.

trees in front of Le Viole. Me in 2005.

Or is that more like the fig jam that Renato Corino‘s mom makes? So sweet!

I am reminded of a magnificent spumante Brachetto and those black muscat grapes I found during a vineyard hike once.

Pergola in La Morra

In my mouth the texture is both velvety, like a fresh Alta Langa cheese …

Alba market finds 2012

… but at the same time, pleasantly rugged, making me think of treading through the clay soils of the Barbaresco vineyards.

Rombone - Treiso mud (fango in Italian)

Then I smell fog and rain clouds …

Barolo Fog Panorama

… and the essence of cracking hazelnut shells.

nociole in Annunziata

Cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and all those fun spices get thrown in, like those in Chinato, a sweet local elixir also made from Nebbiolo, or cugna, a jam made only around harvest time, of apples, pears, wine grapes, and hazelnuts.

Finally there’s a little dust and some smoke. It’s the smoke I smell when they burn piles of wood on the hills—sweet, cedary, and spicy, like a cigar.

fires in the distance

Then there are all the fun times I’ve had and will have again in the Langhe. It helps that the people who make Barbaresco also make some of the best Piemotese friends.

Cantina del Pino 2009 Barbaresco is delicious!

Cin! Cin!

4 thoughts on “What I love about Barbaresco

  1. No. It’s in Barbaresco. I couldn’t tell what was across the valley. Looked like the tower. Was rushing through so I could write the post on winefamilies. Say “hi” to the Vairas for me.

  2. I’m SO jealous. Isn’t that the agriturismo near to Casa Nicolini? Say “hi” to Renato for me. Great photo of a great wine at the end of the post. Are you going to Ca’ del Baio? If you haven’t met “the sisters,” you need to! A presto, S

    1. Is Casa Nicolini in Vergne? near Vajra? Le Viole is across the road from Vajra.
      I will say to Renato for you for sure, but I won’t be there until October. 😉 When are you going next?
      I need to go to Ca’ del Baio! It sounds like I need to go for many reasons!

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