Fuso Barbera (2010)

fuso-barberaFor professional wine writers, who have the time, resources and desire to do the whole blind tasting thing, price and value are not supposed to play into how they perceive a wine. For the rest of us, however, it’s usually impossible not to bring this to mind.

Which brings me to this Fuso Barbera. It was a Thursday night, after a particularly trying week, and though we typically reserve most of our heavy wine drinking for the weekend, we decided to splurge a bit and cracked open this red to go with some chicken & pesto pasta. I knew this wine only cost me $10, so it was a good mid-week wine choice, and I figured Barbera was versatile enough to go with a lighter dish.

This is everyday, mid-week wine at its very best. Bright, vibrant, lots of red fruit, terroir-driven, acidic enough to be versatile with food, and downright cheap. What more can one ask for?

I can’t, nor will I try to, separate this wine from it’s price. Nor do I believe I should, because this is a killer bargain. This is one of those “rush out to get another 1/2 case” kind of wines. If I were the type to have a “House” wine, this would be my new one.

Interestingly enough, though branded differently, this wine is from the same producer (Massa) and same DOC (Colli Tortonesi) as one of my favorite recent Italian finds, the 2006 Vignetti Massa Barbera Monleale. The difference here is that this is younger, and was aged in 100% stainless steel. It’s certainly not as good as the Massa, which uses oak in a near perfect way – just adding a touch of creaminess and spice, but the Fuso is also $6 less (which is quite a bit at this price range). Either way, it is clear that Massa knows what they are doing with Barbera!

Tasting Notes:

Bright red fruits on the nose, with a touch of mushroomy earth. Raspberries and cherries dominate the palate, with a hint of herbs on the finish. Smooth, medium-bodied, rather acidic (making it great with food), with minimal tannin. A very nice everyday wine with huge QPR.


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