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Friday, 16 August 2019

Roberto Sarotto Barbaresco DOCG Riserva 2013 - Virgin Wines

A compelling aged Italian red from Virgin Wines

Italy's Nebbiolo grape is the "ladyboy of wines", says Winebird Helena Nicklin; in north west Italy, Nebbiolo makes big, tough reds such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Gattinara and Ghemme.

Helena's self-styled vinalogy is based on Nebbiolo's delicate, perfumed nature that is reminiscent of Pinot Noir but with firm assertive tannins that need time to soften.

My analogy is a jangly indie kid with knuckle dusters in his cardigan pocket and this Barbaresco is just my kind of disaffected youth.

This part of Italy is a region of hills and forests with truffles that borders France; not coincidentally, it shares France's love of gamey foods with hedonistic ageworthy red wines.

Essentially Italy's answer to Burgundy, its wines, like Burgundy, generally command something of a price premium, so this one is also reasonable value for the quality and age.

Roberto Sarotto Barbaresco DOCG Riserva 2013 (£19.99) cherries, plums roses, tar, old leather and spice with fine, assertive tannins. Fresh, vibrant and precise; focused, pure and very compelling.

Still youthful even at over five years old, it is drinking nicely now but will continue to develop for years.


Match with darker game, such as venison or hard yellow cheeses.

To learn more about Helena's wine vinalogies, see her book: Winebird's Vinalogy: Wine Basics with a Twist!

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