The Grasso is always greener

Giuseppe Grasso “La Granera” 2004 Barbera d’Alba (Piedmont) – Tasting this brings back memories. Because I remember when barbera used to taste like this: crisp, biting, all red-hued berries with a little bit of sizzle. This isn’t one of the really old style thin and linear versions, however; it’s richer and a little bit wider around the waist, with a lovely finish that seems to begin to fade, then re-emerges with an angular vengeance. Perhaps it’s lightly wooded, perhaps just the result of better fruit. In either case, it’s not one of the overworked, overwooded monstrosities that infect the appellation. It’s not a “great” wine, but then part of what makes it so good is that it recalls a time when barbera wasn’t supposed to aspire to greatness. Bring out your tomatoes! (9/07)

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