Before the fall season begins, sommeliers and various restaurants in Riga and Jurmala gathered at the charming Prego restaurant, whose very name and setting oblige you to immerse yourself in the Italian theme. 14 samples of Italian wines from the Barbera grape variety available on the Latvian market were selected for the judgment of wine professionals.

Слепая винная дегустация Noble Wine в ресторане Prego

Barbera is a lesser known and always second variety after the aristocratic Nebbiolo in the northern Piedmont region of Italy. However, this fact does not diminish its importance and popularity. The production of this grape variety reaches 60% in the region and is the sixth most common indigenous red grape variety in all of Italy. This grape is more commonly found in the Monferrato hills, where the best wines are made from this variety.

There are several styles of Barbera wine: light and fruity, richer, with jam notes in the aroma, as well as oak-aged and full-bodied, with a spicy character. Such wines of different styles and tastes were collected in one company and “blindly” tasted by our experts.

All wines were evaluated on a 10-point system, and the first place went to the wine with the highest score. It is important to note that the places were distributed with the minimum difference in grades, and the overall impression of the wines tasted was the most positive.


The “blind” tasting in the Prego restaurant under the guidance of the Noble Wine sommelier Irina Semochkina was attended by sommeliers:

Guntis Berzins Arthur Zinoviev Raymonds
Restaurant Prego Restaurant Giardino Vincents Restaurant Vincents Restaurant RestaurantFaces

After the tasting, each of its participants shared their impressions and recommendations for serving Barbera wines.

Сомелье ресторана Vincents на слепой винной дегустации вина из Barbera от Noble Wine

GB: As a rule, Barbera is light, juicy, also more matured, and then the wine is more round and muscular. It was once believed that wines for the common people were made from this variety, but today the situation has changed. Wines made from Barbera grapes have a complex and rich character with hints of wild berries, soil, and a well-defined terroir. Such wines remind me of a Latvian dessert in the form of a bread puff with jam from wild berries (cranberries, lingonberries).

KR: Barbera is very, very juicy, easy to drink. There are many different options available when paired with food, however it is ideal to drink without special accompaniment. This wine is out of season. Unfortunately, in the restaurant, guests are rarely interested and ask for wine from the Barbera variety, but if I propose, then, as a rule, they like it.

The most expressive for me was sample number 8, so juicy!

RT: You can’t think that Barbera is too light, drinkable wine. Yes, the first two samples were very berry in style, but my favorites came from vineyards with the name Nizza, it’s like a Grand Cru for Barbera wines. Such a wine is not easy to understand – thick, with a good structure, serious, with good potential. It also has excellent acidity, so it is very juicy. This wine is just delicious, finally! It will go fantastically with a variety of dishes.

Сомелье ресторана Faces на винной дегустации вина из винограда Barbera организованной Noble Wine

LA: During the tasting, I liked the atypical samples more, that is, with less fruitiness, as you usually imagine this variety. This is the option when the guests in the restaurant want to taste some wine from Piedmont, but at a more affordable price than barolo and barbaresco. In this case, wines made from oak-aged barbera, that is, a heavier version of the variety, are suitable.

I was pleasantly surprised by the wine from Cavalotto, it was very tannin. I am looking for a Piedmont style in Barbera wines and some of the examples have been.

AZ: An amazingly balanced wine for every day. If guests in a restaurant have doubts about what kind of wine they should drink for a light lunch, then barbera is a 100% success.

The wines from Alba seemed to me more interesting – there are fewer berries in the aroma, with hints of prunes. At the same time, soft tannins and gentle acidity. In Asti wines, the acidity stands out brighter. Samples from the Nizza vineyards reminded me of the style of Malbec wines. The 11th sample is very interesting, it is difficult to single out one of the best among the rest of the wines, all have shown themselves at a good level. Sample no. 3 even traces the Burgundy style of wine, elegant, but with a deep character.

Blind tasting results:

Wine Where to buy it? Points
1 Prunotto Barbera d’Alba DOC 2014  Vintage 30
2 Mauro Molino Barbera d’Alba DOC 2014 Vīna korķis 31,5
3 Giacomo Fenocchio Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC 2012 Noble Wine 33,5
4 Sandrone Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012 L’Alambic 38,5
5 Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012, 14,5% Noble Wine 34,5
6 Cavalotto Barbera d’Alba Superiore Vigna del Cuculo 2009 Noble Wine 33
7 Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d’Alba DOC 2009, 13,5% Vintage 36,5
8 G.D. Vajra Barbera d’Alba DOC, 13,5% wine shops 37,5
9 La Gironda Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG Nizza Vintage 36
10 Rivetto Barbera d’Alba DOC ZIO Nando 2010 Vīna Studija 38
11 Guasti Clemente & Figli Barcato Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Nizza 2001 wine shops 37
12 Matteo Correggia Barbera d’Alba Doc Superiore Marun 2010 Hanzas vīni 38
13 Guasti Clemente & Figli Barbera d’Asti DOCG Superiore wine shops 35,5
14 Lo Zoccolato Barbera d’Alba Sucule DOC 2010 Vīna Studija 34

Best Barbera Wine: Sandrone Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012

Colour. Aroma. Taste. Summary

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No. 1. Prunotto Barbera d’Alba DOC 2014

Slightly purple hue, fresh aroma of red berries, easy to drink, refreshing wine.

No. 2. Mauro Molino Barbera d’Alba DOC 2014

Color with a pomegranate hue, a bouquet of dark berries, a little “green” young taste, with a sharp acidity, but juicy.

No. 3. Giacomo Fenocchio Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC 2012

Light ruby shade in color. The aroma of sweet spices, spicy biscuits with hints of black berries and smoke. Light tannins, acidity dominates and emphasizes fruity notes.

No. 4. Sandrone Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012


Intense cherry color. Complex aroma of ripe black berries, cherries and tobacco, slightly smoky in character. The taste is strong, moderately balanced, rich fruit side, with a little more young tannins, but quite dense wine.

No. 5. Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba DOC 2012

The wine is characterized by a bright ruby ​​hue. Sufficiently perfumed aroma, fresh and slightly herbal bouquet. Energetic, juicy wine leaves a pleasant impression with its bright acidity and fruity aftertaste.

No. 6. Cavalotto Barbera d’Alba Superiore Vigna del Cuculo 2009

Rich cherry tones are visible. The aroma is rich with notes of wild berries, light notes of damp earth and dry leaves are felt. Moderately tannic, slightly spicy. A more serious dish and even game asks for such a wine.

No. 7. Prunotto Pian Romualdo Barbera d’Alba DOC 2009

Medium brick color with purple rim. Bright aroma of sweet spices, chocolate, dried rose. Very delicate and feminine in taste, has rounded tannins and moderate acidity. A rather long aftertaste with good acidity is characteristic.

Винная дегустация в Риге в магазине Noble Wine № 8. G.D. Vajra Barbera d’Alba DOC, 13,5%

Light burgundy color. The aroma contains notes of cedar, red flowers and sweet spices, and even marzipan. Juicy, rich, with strong tannins. Excellent quality, but not completely balanced.

No. 9. La Gironda Barbera d’Asti Superiore DOCG Nizza

Ruby color of wine with orange tint. An evolving aroma with notes of licorice, chocolate, and the participation of oak. Full and balanced taste with medium duration aftertaste. A wine with potential.

No. 10. Rivetto Barbera d’Alba DOC ZIO Nando 2010

Ruby red wine. Fresh, floral character with aromas of dark berries, hay and leather. Very soft and balanced in taste, velvety texture. Very drinkable, good with or without food.

No. 11. Guasti Clemente & Figli Barcato Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore Nizza

Brick-colored wine. Interesting aroma with hints of bread, licorice and dried fruit. It has slightly balsamic notes. Mild, slightly sweet aroma, rounded tannins, medium acidity with a pleasant viscous aftertaste.

No. 12. Matteo Correggia Barbera d’Alba DOC Superiore Marun 2010

The wine is dark ruby ​​color. It has an intense aroma of ripe black berries, slightly balsamic notes, dark chocolate and vanilla. Soft tannins, moderate acidity. A very pleasant, but atypical wine for a “barbera”. Long lasting aftertaste.

No. 13. Guasti Clemente & Figli Barbera d’Asti DOCG Superiore

Medium intensity ruby ​​color. The aroma is full of fruity as well as spicy notes. The wine contains quite bright forest notes: moss, earth, leaves. Spicy wine on the palate with low acidity and pungent aftertaste.

No. 14. Lo Zoccolato Barbera d’Alba Sucule DOC 2010

A thick, rich color wine with a purple hue. Intense aroma of ripe sweet berries, bright notes of blackberry. The wine is characterized by a warm, slightly alcoholic aroma. Silky on the palate, highly concentrated, but light acidity slightly “lifts” the rather heavy aroma of the wine.