2018 Marco Porello, Barbera d’Alba DOC “Mommiano” Piedmonte, Italy.
The fresh and vibrant Porello Barbera 2018 is dark fruited with loads of blackberry, juicy cherry and currant fruits on the medium full palate along with snappy spices, herb and nice acidity which makes this well crafted effort a beautiful food wine. The 2018 was less blistering hot as 2017 and this wine seems very balanced and flirts with mineral and has very little evidence of oak accent, it shows purity of varietal and place very well, leaving a comforting impression. Marco Porello has run the winery since 1994, and now has over a 25 year track record and is highly admired for his wines based in the Canale area with most of his family’s vines set in the Roero zone, crafting mostly Barbera, Arneis, which has been the Porello’s signature grape since the 1930s, and Nebbiolo in his cellar, while his seventy plus year old mum still cares for and directs the farming with organic and holistic ideals as well as having a respected connection to the land and its cycles.
Marco Porello, the grandson of founder Cesare Porello, is an expert oenologist, as noted by his importer, was educated first at the local Alba oenological school and then off in the Bordeaux region of France as well as some time the rival Tuscan region in Chianti Classico before returning and taking over the Porello estate. The Barbera d’Alba Mommiano, of course 100% Barbera, was made from hand tended and hand harvested grapes set of prime hillside sites on clay, loose sand and marl/limestone and was fermented in stainless steel with temperature control and then raised in a combination of stainless, large “Botti” used oak cask and cement vats all to preserve the vibrant expression of grapes and allow for complexity to unfold. This dark purple and crimson Barbera shines beautifully in the glass and hints of violets and sage lift to the nose and with air the wine rounds out and feels supple in tannins while still having plenty of energy, it is highly quaffable stuff that get better and richer with food, going great with rustic Italian country cuisine, and you can see why this value priced red was a fan favorite at the Slow Wine show, where I tasted it.
($19 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive