Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2018
A few months ago, Chris and I had a date night at a local Italian restaurant on the beach, Cotto Al Mare. Pizza, salad, AMAZING garlic butter prawns and, as we often do, a few glasses of wine to share so we can taste a few different options. One we tried was this Piemonte Barbera by the glass and it was by far the best of the evening. So naturally, we took note and picked up a bottle.
Piemonte is in the North West corner of Italy, and this vineyard is located in the DOC of Langhe. Surrounded by the Alps on three sides, this is a top wine producing region, most notably for Barolo and Barbaresco (both from the Nebbiolo grape) however Barbera is the most widely planted grape in the region and some of the best value I've found in Italian wine.
This medium bodied Barbera, a dark ruby red with glints of purple was elegant and refined with blueberry, dried cherry, blackberry and dried herbs on the nose. On the palate was dark black cherry, dried blueberry, fig, dried strawberry, dried thyme and warm spices on the finish. The body felt rich though it was medium/medium plus bodied and the acidity gave the dried fruit flavours some juiciness. The herbal and spice notes were soft and sophisticated, as were the tannins.
This well rounded wine is drinking beautifully now and is an incredible value. On top of that it's a pretty outstanding value that could be enjoyed on it's own or with many different food pairings. I'd highly recommend the meal we can when we enjoyed this bottle - pan roasted beef with cracked black pepper, balsamic glazed mushrooms and roasted potatoes with thyme and rosemary. It would also be AMAZING with my Balsamic Beef Stew which you can find the recipe for here.