I have become a fan of Barbera. It is the every day wine of choice in Piedmont, home of very classy, very pricey Barolos and Barbarescos. Like a good Pinot Noir or Cotes du Rhone Villages, Barbera goes with almost any dish you put on the table. And it nearly always pleases me as much as a wine costing two or three times as much.
Actually, Barberas are not all that inexpensive these days. I saw one in a shop yesterday for $32 and others for $20 to $25. But there are many very good Barberas for $10 to $12 a bottle. And this Barbera d'Asti cost only $5.99 at Trader Joe's.
Medium deep color. 2011 was a very fine vintage in Piedmont, and this wine shows its class from the beginning. Beautiful smells of dark cherries and red berries offset nicely by black licorice. Has some of the qualities I expect from a good Nebbiolo from the Piedmont. Same fruit and spice on the tongue. The cherry flavors are ripe and lovely; the darker licorice tones give it substance. Very dry but also very satisfying. Silky smooth texture and a long, ripe finish.
Beautiful for drinking now, but I suspect this wine will keep for five to seven years. I intend to buy more the next time I get to a Trader Joe's store; hope there is some left. I also saw a Rocca dell' Olmo Barbaresco for $10 that should be well worth trying.