Paolo Conterno, Barbera d’Alba (Piedmont, Italy) La Ginestra 2019

($25, Skurnik Wines):  Barbera has an enormous quality range from insipid to fabulous, which can make choosing one a mine field.  Yet, it is my “go-to” red at Italian restaurants because ones on a wine list should be high quality since the wine buyer for the restaurant has a wide selection from wholesale sources from which to choose.  Barbera is ideally suited to food because, when they’re good, like this one, they have beautiful body and depth buttressed by enlivening acidity that keeps them fresh.  Ginestra, known as a top vineyard, mostly for Barolo, also contains Barbera, which likely explains, in part, the stature of this wine.  It is a balanced combination of red and dark fruits, a bit of savory herbal notes, and, of course, great freshness that makes you want another sip.  A few years of age lend another layer of complexity.  In short, an excellent choice for dinner today, even at home.
93 Michael Apstein May 28, 2024