2011 Rocca dell’Olmo Barbera d’Asti


Another girls night at the house that brought many varieties of food and even some wine for me to sample!  I’ve come to count on Eileen offering her wine to share.  She tends to bring wine that she’s picked up at Trader Joe’s and I must say, she has doing a great job with her choices!  Trader Joe’s offers a guide to wine and explains things like this:

Wine is also fermented grape juice. Stevenson’s angle is a little more elegant, but the truth remains: the natural yeasts on grape skins convert the sugar in grape juice into alcohol—wine. Simple enough. Sort of. Making fine, complex wines is an intricate interplay between art, science and Mother Nature’s magic. Ardent admirers of this grape-based libation, we’ve composed a basic ‘wine guide’ to provide a bit of information about everything from wine styles and Trader Joe’s labels to proper techniques for storing and tasting for our fellow oenophiles [lovers of wine] and casual connoisseurs who are equally curious.

The describe that the question is frequently raised; how is it that Trader Joe’s can carry caliber wines for crazy-good prices? In brief, it’s because of how they do business.  They deal directly whenever possible, they say that they pay on time, and they take the integrity of their products seriously. Plus, they private label.  This part plays in their favor when a prominent wine producer needs to sell some juice – fast – but wants to protect their anonymity for reasons of privacy, perceived value or just plain preference.  They will bottle the wine under a Trader Joe’s brand label, which guarantees exceptional quality for an exceedingly good price.  

This night she brought the 2011 Rocca dell’Olmo Barbera d’Asti and I think it was a great choice!

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DOCG is a sign of quality

Medium color depth with a purple hue.

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The Barbera was aromatic, youthful-fruity.  I could smell plum, spice, tobacco, red fruit, oak.

This red wine was not dry and it was medium-to-light-bodied with good acidity.  The tannins were soft with a medium flavor intensity and I noticed a slightly dry mid-palate flavors and a medium finish.

abv: 13%

Region/Appellation: Barbera d’Asti is a red wine produced in and around the town of Asti, in the Piedmont region of Italy. Barbera, from which it is made, has been growing in the region for centuries. It’s a much easier varietal to cultivate than the regional big boy Nebbiolo. For this reason, when the Pylloxera crisis hit Piedmont in the late 1800s, Barbera was among the first to be replanted, and in many instances, replaced plantings of Nebbiolo. The region was awarded DOCG, the highest classification, in 2008.

While Barbera is found throughout Italy, the Piedmont Barberas (Alba, Monferrato and Asti) are considered the finest, and Barbera d’Asti has its own unique characteristics. It’s grown in the slopes surrounding Asti and Allesandria, which are more open than its neighboring vineyards in Alba. Unlike the Alba DOC, Barbera d’Asti is a minimum 75% Barbera, with 15% allowable Freisa, Grignolino and/or Dolcetto

How much: $6.00 – $10 per bottle.

I rated the 2011 Rocca dell’Olmo Barbera d’Asti three glasses.  The wine is really good for the price.

Life is too short to drink crappy wine!

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