ON THE SPOT - Barbera d'Alba D.O.C. "La Sconsolata" - Cantine del Glicine

by Marcello Muiesan

When you think of Piedmont, truffle, hazelnuts, and Nebbiolo, the king of grapes of Barolo and Barbaresco, would probably come straight to your mind.
Is that everything though?
There is another grape, ’Piedmont's third B’ after Barolo and Barbaresco, at times forgotten and surely underestimated which is Barbera. 

For quite some time considered a relatively uninteresting, everyday drinking wine, today Barbera is taken seriously, very seriously rather and Cantina del Glicine ‘La Sconsolata' is definitely a good example of it, that you can find on Truffle & Wine online shop.
Like many other Italian indigenous grape varieties, Barbera has very ancient origins, the first mention going back to the 13th century, when it was called ‘Grissa ('grey’), a grape which would make a 'great, powerful, versatile wine’. 
Nowadays grown all around Italy, Barbera finds space in Oltrepò Pavese and Franciacorta in Lombardy, Colli Piacentini in Emilia Romagna, in Umbria, and even further south in Campania and Sicily.

The origins of the variety though are deeply rooted in the Monferrato area and around Asti and Alessandria. 
In a winery in Neive that dates back to 1582, ‘La Sconsolata’ is aged in Slavonian oak, a type of oak coming from Eastern Europe, widely used to age the big reds of Northern Italy. For this wine, the Barbera grape is blended with about 15% Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, following the local traditions, this making ‘La Sconsolata' more perfumed, structured and age-worthy.
Expect some lovely black fruit on the palate: black cherries, blackcurrant, blueberries and damson, and a lovely earthy and spicy finish from the Nebbiolo adding nutmeg, pepper, and licorice.
Enjoy it with gamey or strong-flavored meats like lamb, boar or venison or, why not, with a rich pasta dish.
There's a funny story about the name, the Cantina del Glicine owner tried to deposit the copyright for lots of different names but as they were all taken he decided to go for “La Sconsolata” which means “the disconsolate”.

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