Ca’ Montebello Barbera

January 16, 2015 § 2 Comments

Score: 7.9  – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0686.jpg

Price: $13.99-$15.99

About the Wine: To me this wine is a Best Buy, if only because of the story of how this wine got to BC, however I believe that the story shouldn’t influence the scoring, so it is a solid Over Delivers. See below at More to the Story.

Dark/Blood red cherry in the glass with wonderfully engaging ripe plum and cherry aromas that are highlighted with floral tones of violets.

Barbera is a very low tannin wine. The key to a quality Barbera is the acidity. This wine shows bright acidity on the palate which enhances the fruit flavours. Medium weight with layers of savoury spices and purple flowers.

The finish is fresh and clean with a big juicy, slightly herbal but happy ending.

Value: Those who like red wine, but not the grippy texture of wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, this is the wine for you. If you are looking for something different from your usual Shiraz or Zinfandel, give this a whirl as I think you will really enjoy it. As a softer, discovery wine I would easily choose this over Ravenswood Zinfandel or wines like Apothic Red, Dreaming Tree Crush or Cupcake Red Velvet.

Added Value: This wine really shines on the BBQ and with the Foodies. It’s juicy supple character means it is great with grilled chicken, pork or burgers off the BBQ. The foodies will love the nuance and finesse, especially when you wow them with a fish dish like Halibut.

More To The Story: A few years back I was invited to a tasting of Lombardian wines in Vancouver. Each supplier was hoping to find an importer. The Ca’ Montebello wines grabbed my attention because of the packaging. Classic and eye-catching. I tasted through the wines (word to the wise, their Pinot Nero Bianco is outstanding $15-$16) and was duly impressed. I thought if I could get these wines into the stores under $20 it would be a big win.

Luigi Lorani, the owner and winemaker, was standing behind the table so I asked him about pricing. Turns out he doesn’t speak any English and my Italian is sketchy at best (I’m your man if you want an espresso, but that’s about it). A good friend of mine is an importer and speaks Italian so I got him on the phone to see if we could work out a price in exchange for a volume buy. Within seconds Luigi’s voice was raised, ears bright red and arms thrashing through the air. Heads were turning in the room to see what the commotion was about as I tried to slip back from the table to no avail. After about 10 minutes Luigi handed me the phone back, I spoke to my friend and his only words were “deal is done, should be here in June.”

As it turns out Luigi’s wines had been in BC before and were priced in the high $20’s, so when I said before that this would be a Best Buy if you knew the whole story, this is what I meant. This wine sold at $28 and at that price I would give it a Dead Average rating, dropping it down $10 leads to a Best Buy rating. However knowing the price drop influence ones rating although it, perhaps, shouldn’t.The rating should reflect the wines ability to deliver enjoyment and quality as it increases in price, hence in an effort to compensate for this fallibility, I have given it an Over Delivers rating.

Service: Serve at room temperature, however you will want to run this through your Vinturi or leave to breathe for about 30 minutes. See above for food pairing recommendations.

Grapes: Barbera

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Oltrepo Pavese (Lombardy)

Available: Metro Liquor Tuscany Village, Cascadia Liquor Stores

Buy Online: Metro Liquor Online

Alcohol: 13.0%

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