WTN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

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WTN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:40 am

So.... strolling the wine aisles of TraderJoe's in SantaFe this weekend. Not looking to buy...but it's a good place to pick up early signals on what wineries are in financial trouble. And then I spotted it!! A Gaja label w/ a price tag of $12.00. Holy $hit (Kansas colloquialism for "Oh my Goodness"!!). Then I looked closely at the label. No...not a Gaja label, but sure a Gaja-look-alike. How could I resist...so sprung for it:
1. Barbaresco "CheStoria" DOCG Riserva (13.5%) Bttld by C.V.B.M/Salgareda 1998: Med.(suspiciously) dark color w/ very little bricking; slight tarry/dusty slight funky/bretty very light floral/lilacs/pencilly very shy/light nose; soft very weak floral/tarry/dusty flavor w/ no tannins; very short almost no finish w/ no tannins; not bad/offensive/nasty but not much at all there. $11.99
_________________________________
And this deserves a BloodyPulpit:
1. Well....so much for DOCG as a signature of quality on a Barbaresco wine. The wine was not bad (at least), just virtually devoid of any character or intensity. This was to real Barbaresco like CharlesShaw Cabernet is to real Cabernet. Not bad, but just boring as hell. To me...drinking real Barolo/Barbaresco is like stuffing some lilac petals up one nostril, stuffing violet petals up the other nostril, sealing both nostrils w/ a plug of road tar; then sticking your tongue out betwixt the jaws of a vice and torquing that sucker down. This was nowhere like that experience. Probably the first time I fell asleep drinking a glass of wine.
For those who worship at the altar of typicity...this is NOT your Barbaresco. But there are far/far worse Eye-talian wines out there, on the shelves of TraderJoes and elsewhere, than this Barbaresco.
Tom
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:22 am

Thanks for the warning, Tom. Like the $18 barolo I saw last weekend, I'm always leery about these B&B bargins. It's so much easier to grab a nebbiolo d'alba instead if I want Piedmontese at a cheaper price.
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Jenise » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:38 pm

Tom,

I tasted an earlier vintage of that same wine about three years ago at a real-deal Gaja tasting. The host brought it along for amusement. Though none of us loved the wine, we were all actually impressed that it didn't flat-out stink compared to the Gajas, and we all thought it a reasonable $12 wine. This sounds like a weaker vintage than what we tasted.

Jenise
Last edited by Jenise on Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Dan Donahue » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:07 pm

Tom, thanks for the note. The last time I was in a Trader Joes they had an Amarone for $10. I almost bought a bottle for fun. I'm glad I didn't. The first impression that it can't be very good usually pans out.

I did pick up a '97 Produttori that was a close out at Binny's for 12.99 that was quite good, too bad it was the only one they had.
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Claude Kolm » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:46 pm

I had this wine a few years ago - don't know if it was the same lot or not (probably not) as you had, Tom. As a Barbaresco, it sucks, but if you think of it as Nebbiolo d'Alba, which is how it is priced, it was quite correct.

I have no idea of the source of this wine, but I have been told by producers in Piedmont that because the prices for Barolo and Barbaresco went up so fast with the vintages of the late 1990s and because the German market for these wines has collapsed, many producers were stuck with large inventories that they are selling off to distributors to be resold under anonymous labels for surprisingly low prices.
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Additional Info...

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:53 pm

From poking around on the Net: The bottler is CasaVinicola Bosco Malera (CVBM) locdated up in the Veneto region. No info on who the actual winemaker is.
Even as Nebbiolo d'Alba... it sucks. Nor because it's bad wine...but because it's so bland and boring. I'd almost rather drink bad wine than boring wine, depending upon just how bad bad is.
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Re: Additional Info...

Postby Claude Kolm » Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:09 pm

TomHill wrote: Even as Nebbiolo d'Alba... it sucks. Nor because it's bad wine...but because it's so bland and boring. I'd almost rather drink bad wine than boring wine, depending upon just how bad bad is.
Tom
Well, as I said, we may not have had the same lots -- the wine I drank was 2-3 years ago and it wasn't boring, it was varietally correct Nebbiolo with all the elements there and speaking of Piemonte. Probably better for risotto al Barolo, but, anyway . . .
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Lou Kessler » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:28 pm

A coincidence somebody brought this wine to lunch a couple of weeks ago. You were kind saying it SUCKED!
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:06 pm

Claude Kolm wrote:. As a Barbaresco, it sucks, but if you think of it as Nebbiolo d'Alba, which is how it is priced, it was quite correct.


Reminds me a bit of a "La Licenziana" (Giamello) Barbaresco that PC had for $8 or so a few years back. That's cheaper than any Nebbiolo d'Alba around here. Not great- but definitely Nebbiolo. Not a wine I was excited about drinking, but great for making beef in Barolo or risotto w/Barolo (better than pouring in Marcarini or Giacosa!).
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Bill Hooper » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:44 am

How many times have you walked into a wine shop and seen Riesling Auslese for $10? It should come with bullets.


Prost!
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Re: WTN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Thu May 04, 2006 5:08 pm

TomHill wrote: . . . But there are far/far worse Eye-talian wines out there, on the shelves of TraderJoes and elsewhere, than this Barbaresco.
Tom


Surely you'll agree, Tom, that California Nebbiolo will soon relegate Piemontese versions to "the dustbins of history," as I seem to recall someone saying about California and Tuscan Sangiovese. 8)
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Hoke » Thu May 04, 2006 5:51 pm

Dan Donahue wrote:Tom, thanks for the note. The last time I was in a Trader Joes they had an Amarone for $10. I almost bought a bottle for fun. I'm glad I didn't. The first impression that it can't be very good usually pans out.

I did pick up a '97 Produttori that was a close out at Binny's for 12.99 that was quite good, too bad it was the only one they had.


Dan: You done good by avoiding the temptation. I went ahead and wasted my money on that Amarone. Pedestrian stuff.
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Re: TN: A $12 Barbaresco..Now How Bad Could That Be???

Postby Dan Donahue » Fri May 05, 2006 1:48 pm

Hoke--One of the few bottles I've had in my hand and put back without suffering non-buyers remorse. Thanks for reinforcing that wise decision!
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