Barbera: Old World meets the New
It's a useful form of shorthand, but as we discussed in the Wine Advisor on Sept. 10 ("Old World, New World," http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor/tswa010910.shtml), there are plenty of exceptions that complicate the rule. In that issue, I cited the wines of Edmunds St. John as delicious examples of earthy, complex "Old World" style coming from a California producer.
Today let's look at an exception from the other side of the Atlantic, traveling to Piemonte in Northwestern Italy to examine a delicious red wine that's big, fruity and oaky, a New World kind of wine coming from one of the most historic and traditional wine regions on Earth, where the ancient style of Barolo and Barbaresco finds plenty of sturdy defenders.
This Barbera d'Alba is a delicious wine, but it's far more "international" in quality than Italian, a wine that would be difficult to pick out from American or Australian competitors in a "blind" tasting.
Parusso 1999 "Ornati" Barbera d'Alba ($16.99)
FOOD MATCH: It takes robust food to stand up to a big red like this, and Marcella Hazan's Northern Italian dish of sausage and red cabbage is up to the task.
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Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001