As much of a fan as I am of those big rich red wines out there, there is almost certainly a time when I grave that lighter more fruit driven type of style. Something that leaves you with a bright fresh mouthful of fruit, especially when it's called for; that lighter dinner or maybe even an evening perched on the patio when you're kicking back and just enjoying.
That is exactly what I found in this week's "Wine of the Week."
Vietti Barbera d'Alba Tre Vigne 2016
This is a wine I have always been well aware of throughout my wine career. The Vietti name has always carried with it an acknowledgment of quality. They also have a full lineup of wines across a wide spectrum. The winery located in the Northwest region of Italy not far from Genoa, produces rich white wines from the Arneis grape, a sweet Moscato d'Asti and red wines featuring predominantly Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes.
I've been fortunate to have tried many of their offerings, including a number of their flagship wines, their Barolos. On this occasion, I wandered across a Barbera. I've loved Barberas for their softer styles and just a touch more fruit. Not that you'd find yourself with a bad wine, it's important to note that they make a few different wines using the Barbera grape. Some from the Asti Region (Barbera d'Asti) and some from the Alba Region (Barbera d'Alba), the more specific Tre Vigne wines being made with no oak. They have a couple others that do see some oak aging, and thus, carry a slightly higher price and will generally be a touch more earthy in style.
For this moment, I wanted the softer and slightly more fruit edition of the wine. Since I had usually gravitated towards the d'Asti (for the slightly lower cost - just under $20), this time I opted for the d'Alba (coming in at around $25). I was also fortunate to be choosing a wine from the newly released vintage of 2016. Most comments focus on that year to show excellent results, which was reflected in this wine.
From the moment I opened the bottle, I was struck with a wonderful nose of floral notes and cherry fruit. Those same qualities being carried over to the wine along with much softer tannins to create a smooth yet pleasing flavor. The all stainless maturation livening the wine. This was one of the few times that I didn't have plans for any specific dinner or food combinations planned. That worked out just fine as I was able to continue to enjoy this wine and savor it all unto itself.
A great wine for the money, but if you wish to save a few dollars, don't hesitate to go for the d'Asti Tre Vigne, which should also be the 2016 vintage, for a nice wine to enjoy for the evening, with or without food. Click here for tech notes.
Last item! I'm not unaware (double negative there) that this is the second ITALIAN wine in a row that I've done. Hopefully, you noticed that I have restrained myself from using any Italian words.
Arrivederci (darn, I almost made it)