The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Wine Tuesday: De Forville 2013 Barbera Cascina Buc

Posted on | September 22, 2015 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

barbera_asti_resWhen we think of Piemonte, we usually think of Barolo and the Nebbiolo grape, but there’s another important grape: Barbera. More widely planted than Nebbiolo and more often on the dinner table of Piemontese locals, Barbera is often made into simple wines for simple meals, but there are a handful of producers who take on the task of crafting seriously delicious and complex wines from the grape. As you might expect, many of the leading estates in Barolo and Barbaresco also produce a Barbera, and as a hopeless wine geek, I think it’s a lot of fun to compare and contrast the different styles and expressions of the grape across producers and terroirs. And while Barbera is not usually a wine capable of serious aging, it is always delicious and easy to enjoy in any season, and with just about any meal.

Today’s go-to wine comes from the De Forville estate in Barbaresco, and I love it for its juicy yet delicate fruit, cheerful personality and outstanding quality-to-price ratio. It’s not meant to be a complex or serious wine; it’s made to be enjoyed early and often, and without pretension. The family-owned-and-operated De Forville estate has been bottling wines in Barbaresco since 1940, and it uses a mix of modern and traditional practices in the vineyard and cellar, harvesting all its fruit by hand, fermenting in stainless steel with temperature control, then transferring the juice to large oak barrels for the ensuing malolactic fermentation.

My girlfriend and I enjoyed De Forville’s 2013 Barbera Cascina Buc on Sunday night with a nice fall meal of local Delicata squash that we rubbed with olive oil and spices, baked for a while, stuffed with a mixture of crumbled sausage and sautéed kale, topped with grated cheese, and then baked some more. Not surprisingly, the stuffed squash was perfect foil for the Barbera; its mouth-watering acidity cut through the spice and the richness of the melted cheese, and its lovely balance of bright red fruits and soft tannins provided a great counterpoint to the meal’s savory, meaty components. We finished the wine quickly, and my only regret was that I hadn’t picked up a second bottle.

De Forville’s Barbera is the perfect wine to keep at home by the case for everyday drinking, and at under $17, it won’t put a strain on your budget. If you’ve been searching for a new house wine that’s delicious, look no further than this Barbera!

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