Today is different though, today is another red. It's the 2005 La Loggia Barbaresco, costs about 13$ at your local Trader Joe's. Barbaresco is up in Piedmonte, northwestern Italy. The terrain is hilly and it's a bit cooler than down south towards Tuscany. In this area and as well as in Barolo, the primary grape is Nebbiolo. I've often heard of Barbarescos being called "baby Barolos" since they seem to be made in a more accessible style, meaning you can drink them earlier than with a Barolo. Incidentally I've read and heard it mentioned that Barolo shouldn't be opened until it's at least 15-20 years old. If only we all could afford to do that! Anyways this is perhaps an "entry level" Barbaresco, as they can go past 500$ a bottle if you buy the stuff from Gaja. Let's see how it did when paired with a classic American dinner.
2005 La Loggia Barbaresco
I opened this bottle about an hour before I tasted it, and poured it 30 minutes before. Upon my first sniff, I smelled raisins and sour cherries, with some spice like a nutmeg or something. It was either that or cloves and I'm leaning towards cloves. Since I love Italian wines, this excited me and got me to expect something fun and interesting on the palate. With each passing minute you could see that more flavors were coming out, so I felt like it was going to be a good bottle. I should also note the color was a nice inky purple, it looked serious and tasty! Almost like a petit syrah (or is it sirah?). Time for the taste, excitement was building up since the nose was so interesting. That first sip was adequate, not exactly what I expected but maybe a second sip would be better because two is better than one, right? Yes, my logic is flawless, I know. On the second sip, I tasted some notes of blackberry, tobacco, cedar and dark chocolate. The tannins were firm, definitely noticeable but also had a nice silky quality. Here's where things started to unravel though. Each flavor presented itself in a blocky, un-integrated way. They didn't seem to flow together seamlessly or create a structure in the wine. At first, there was the blackberry and sour cherry, then a dollop of the spices, cloves I suspect. Right after that was an earthy, dusty element before the tannins kicked in. Now the dark chocolate and tobacco that I got faint tastes of were in there somewhere but they didn't really have much definition.There was no tapestry of flavors and not once did I feel like the wine was complex. Unfortunately that isn't what I was looking for in a Barbaresco.
Summarizing what I rambled on about in the paragraphs above, the wine was decent enough for 13$ but nothing stellar. I think for an entry-level Barbaresco it's tasty, but it definitely won't blow your mind. I paired the wine with a burger and fries, which seemed to work out very well. My score for the wine is a B-, because it's good enough to get you into Barbarescoes but is lacking integration and that is something I always look for in a wine. If you buy this, you'll probably like it and won't feel like you wasted your money, but perhaps will want more from it after finishing a glass or two. On the nose, it promises a lot but doesn't quite deliver on the palate, that disconnect just doesn't work for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you want to follow me on twitter I'm @UCBeau. Over the next few blogs I may veer away from reviewing wine, there will be some beers and some non-wine related stuff but stick with me, we're going to have fun! Here's to a great 2010 full of delicious food and wine, friends, families, travel and a Jets victory on Saturday!