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Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Le Orme” 2011

What a fun bottle of wine. Just what a “simple Barbera” should be — fresh, fruity and super easy to drink. Asti is perhaps the best place in the world for Barbera. It’s a place where the best vineyard sites are reserved for Barbera rather than Nebbiolo as in Alba.  

The wine has a nice nose of cherry and a spicy, woody something. It has that Italian nose that’s hard to describe but we know it when we smell it and/or taste it.

I suppose it’s the large oak casks they use to age the wine. Just as in classic Barolo or some nice Chianti wines, it imparts accent rather than primary flavor.  

Even thought the wine has 5 years of age, it shows young with very primary fruit (again, think red fruits) that are vibrant and pure.  It’s on the finish that the hints of spice and oak come through but in a very subtle way.  

This is such a juicy, easy-to-drink wine that is just perfect for any food from pasta to pizza to burgers. It’s even great to sip on its own, which isn’t always the case with Barbera.  I prefer this wine chilled; it’s much more alive and fresh that way.  Just a fun sub-$15 bottle of wine!! 

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