Piedmont's Luscious Barbera
2019 Fabio Oberto 'La Collina di Dioniso' Barbera d'Alba DOC
When it comes to the wines of Piedmont, Barbera has long been overshadowed by its famous Nebbiolo neighbours, Barolo and Barbaresco. The irony is, of course, that Barbera is the very opposite of these superstars in almost every way. Barolo and Barbaresco are serious wines – the experience is incomplete without appropriate cellaring and a food pairing worthy of their intense structure and bold tannins. These are wines that require patience and understanding on the part of both the winemaker and the consumer.
In contrast, Barbera is fun, easy-going and eager to please alongside a wide range of dishes, which is why you are far more likely to find it on the dinner tables of the Piemontese. Barbera is immediately appealing with its juicy fruit flavour, smooth texture and crunchy acidity –¬ it does not require long term aging to be appreciated. Its relatively low tannin and high acid content make Barbera extremely food friendly, with its special ability to help food shine without dominating. It is no wonder that it is far and away the region’s most widely planted variety.
The Restaurant Pendolino is proud to feature the wines of Fabio Oberto, a Piedmont native who is dedicated to crafting pure, expressive wines that showcase Piedmont's exceptional terroir. After 22 years of working alongside his father at the family winery, Fabio Oberto started a new label, La Collina di Dioniso, which has already developed a loyal following since its founding in 2017.
The fruit for this Barbera comes from 15–25 year-old vines in La Morra, one of Barolo’s famed subregions. The grapes are hand-harvested before being fermented in stainless steel with only their own natural yeasts. The wine is then matured in oak barriques for 12 months and undergoes further maturation in bottle before release.
In the glass, the wine is intense ruby red with a light purple hue. Plum and cherry notes lead to flavours of ripe blackcurrant and blackberry jam on the palate. Full-bodied and layered with a beautiful balance of fruit, natural acidity and well-integrated oak, this is a wine that can also be cellared in the medium term. A great pairing for roast duck, pork, truffles, charcuterie, filled pastas or even barbecued meats. Today, we suggest enjoying it with Executive Chef Nino Zoccali’s pasta roll filled with fried cauliflower & ricotta from his first cookbook, Pasta Artigiana.