Alivio Barbaresco, Risvera 1998, Le Rocce Dei Barbari, Piedmont, Red-wine from Italy
Many years ago I once went to Piedmont and into the center of Barbaresco area – the village of Barbaresco. This was still in a time I didn’t know too much about wines and in particular wine makers of Piedmont except the typical subjects as GAJA. Walking through this wine village I simply ended at the winery Le Rocche dei Barbari. I like the style of the testing room and the host – a son of the winemaker – had some time to serve me through wines. Among others at that time their best was a Barbaresco Risverva 1998. It was already eight if not even nine years old, matured really very many years in barrique. The whole presentation was pretty charming, a nice mixture of farm and modern wine selling.
Barbaresco, Nebbelio and Barolo are all out of the same sort of grape. Some winemakers aren’t too strict and mix some other grapes to their wines, but usually a real Barbaresco should come from this area around the village of Barbaresco and should contain only wine out of Nebbelio.
This red-wine always was a wine of my father – although he had no idea about wine- as he liked real dry wines. Comparing it to Barolo, the most famous and popular wine of this area, Barbareco usually is indeed drier, pretty earthy and even a bit smoky. As said definitely different than its big brother Barolo, but for this less “huge” but more tender and smooth. Even it is fond and smooth, I would risk to say that this wine – please excuse – has a pretty male character. Many of them come along pretty strong in alcohol and often deliver this enjoyable mixture of some early autumn taste, somehow like a dry loamy ground, not fruits or berry or even sweat.
This one unfortunately has been pretty disappointing. Already at the first nose but even still after two hours is influenced by too much alcohol. It is rather flat, a bit undefined sour and sorry to say, without any real character. Amazingly poor and without any specific catching power for a Riserva. It wasn’t worth to give it another may be six years to mature. This could have been even a bit better drinking it younger which is based on my experience not applicable for Barbaresco usually.
This is perhaps also disapointing as colourwise the wine is really beautiful and filling it up into a decanter let you look forward testing it very much.