2012 Iuli "Rossore" Barbera
del Monferrato Superiore
The region of Piemonte evokes images of fog-shrouded hilltops, stooped old men and their dogs foraging for truffles, and row after row of Nebbiolo vines in the Langhe. This is a romantic view of one of Italy’s greatest wine and food regions, but when we dig deeper there is much joy to be found in the simple pleasures as well. One cannot live on Barolo alone, so for the month of February the Babbo wine team is excited to offer our favorite “everyday drinking” wine, the 2012 Iuli “Rossore” Barbera del Monferrato Superiore!
Fabrizio Iuli grew up in a restaurant family. For over 60 years, the Iuli family served award winning Piedmontese cuisine, but it was the locals’s demand for a house wine that set Fabrizio on his current path. He planted a few more vineyards and before he knew it he had become a “barberista!” Fabrizio now cultivates Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir (perhaps the focus for a future Wine of the Month as they’re exceptional), but it is with his Barbera that we can see his personality shine through.
The vines for the Rossore are planted in south facing vineyards in the Lower Monferrato at an elevation around 350-400 meters. The soils are calcareous clay, and the vines vary in age from 20-40 years. In certain vintages, Fabrizio will also blend in grapes from his Barabba vineyard, which contains some seriously old vines and add an extra touch of complexity. After a manual harvest and natural yeast fermentation the wine spends 16 months in large old French oak casks. While the Barbera sees new oak, Fabrizio prefers older wood for the Rossore, allowing the fruit to be the showcase.
Fabrizio named his Barbera Rossore after “the color the wine puts in your cheeks.” It’s a fun, playful wine packed with delicious ripe red and black fruit. The nose is all blackberry and strawberry and is not shy at all. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, with acidity to keep things fresh and lively. The fruit is there in full force, with just enough tannins to ensure balance. Fantastic for drinking on its own, it makes for a great accompaniment with primi and secondi alike. This is everything we love about Barbera, and we hope you’ll come enjoy a quartino with us!