Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tenuta Arnulfo Costia di Bussia Barbera d'Alba, 2010

Tenuta Arnulfo has well situated vineyards in Monforte d'Alba and makes an excellent, traditional Barolo. If I did not see the Barbera d'Alba designation on the label, I would swear that this wine is a Nebbiolo d'Alba made from grapes that did not quite make the cut for the Costa di Bussia Barolo.

Deep color and deep, deep smells and flavors. Dark cherries, roses and black tones of licorice or anise--the hallmark traits of a good Nebbiolo. Sweet red flowers with an undertone of darker, more serious traits. Smells tannic, and it is--at least for a Barbera. Rich fruit flavors--again very deep. Unfortunately, I opened this just before pouring it at the table; it clearly opens up and gains character as it is exposed to air. Very much like a baby Barolo--high tannin, high acid, low alcohol (13.5%), and very expressive fruit. The label says that it is one of the longest lived Barberas, and I don't doubt that. I am holding back at least a few bottles.

This wine was recommended to me as a good, inexpensive Barbera by David Russo of G.B. Russo & Sons in Grand Rapids, and I have been buying it since, for $10 to $12, at every opportunity. The Costa di Bussia Barolo sells for $50 to $60 so I have not tried that, but, from tasting this low-end wine, I am convinced it is not over-priced.

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