2009 Cascina Val del Prete, Barbera d’Alba Superiore “Carolina” Piedmonte, Italy.
A warm and round Barbera of hedonistic pleasures and texture, poured from magnum, it is drinking gorgeously and with lots of character and verve, this Cascina Val del Prete Carolina Barbera d’Alba is everything you could ask for and more! The clay and chalky soils of Roero, very close to Barolo, is where most of the focus is for Cascina Val del Prete and this wonderful Babera is a top expression of terroir and varietal, these wines also age fantastically well, my friend Peter Steiner, wine director at Sens Restaurant in San Francisco, has on many occasions pulled old bottles of this wine from his cellar with surprisingly glorious results. The 2009 shows rich layers of red fruits, spicy notes and opulent ripe tannins, highlighting the warm vintage, but still shows plenty of vigor and juicy acidity, there’s a lot to admire here with it’s full bodied expressive fruit, mineral notes and vibrant array of flavors. The palate feel dense with red plum, cherry and raspberry upfront leading the way along with tangy currant, fennel, dusty stones, cedar and baking spices. The color is deep with ruby red edges and soft dried flowers rise from the glass with coaxing, but joyous silken fruit is what this wine is all about and it keeps pumping out and lingers on the long finish. Barbera has truly come of age and Cascina Val del Prete is one of the best, also look for Vajra, Giovanni Rosso, La Spinetta and Oddero for some of your must try Barbera Superiore choices. The current vintage, 2012 Cascina Val del Prete is also a great bottle, be sure to re-discover Barbera soon!
($39 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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