Barbera d'Alba 2010 and 2011: panel tasting results
Pio Cesare, Fides, 2010
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Andrea Briccarello 18.5Stephen Brook 18.5 Ian D’Agata 18.5
Fides means ‘trust’ or ‘faith’: and an act of faith it was, said owner Pio Boffa, to plant Barbera in the Colombaro vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba. Located close to Barolo’s famous Ornato single vineyard, the estate could have planted Nebbiolo instead and sold the wine at much higher prices. The result is one of the best modern Barbera d’Albas, with subtle scents, serious tannins and the fresh acidity of the variety, ensuring long life and an ageworthiness that most Barbera d’Alba wines lack.
Andrea Briccarello Incredible notes of vanilla and dark spice given by the barriques. Floral with rose and liquorice notes. Tannins are evident, but well integrated with good acidity and long, intense, concentrated fruits. Amazing complexity with luscious red, ripe, summer-fruit-pudding character. Needs time.
Stephen Brook Oaky red-fruit nose with cranberries and vanilla. Fresh attack, concentrated, with charming red fruit unusual in a barrique-aged wine of this power. Has charm and delicacy and doesn’t just rely on concentration. This has a welcome lightness of touch and exemplary length.
Ian D’Agata Knockout nose of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), ripe red cherries, raspberry jam and vanilla. Then rich, dense and suave with pure red fruit, and sweet spice flavours that last and last. Finishes with a lingering note of vanilla and sweet spices. Lots of oak but extremely well managed.
Price £36 Maisons Marques & Domaines, Mondial