rosa dell oro barbarescoBarbaresco is Barolo’s little brother, made from the same Nebbiolo grape varietal but less tannic, more delicate, and less expensive. But usually not this inexpensive! When I saw a Barbaresco for under $10 at Trader Joe’s I thought it was another too-good-to-be-true bargain.

But this is actually quite good. Dead on Nebbiolo aromas of dried flowers, sour  cherry, and lots of earth, positively filthy in a good way. The very  same flavors predominate on the palate but they are simple and without much depth. Furry tannins, typical in a young Babaresco and high acidity with thin fruit at the midpalate makes the texture a little rough. The finish is long but tart with some bitterness, again typical of less expensive Italian wines. For this price this is a great introduction to one of Italy’s great wine regions.

Score: 87

Price: $9

Alc: 13.5%

You will want to drink this with music that is earthy but austere, bittersweet like Nina Simone’s version of “Since I Fell For You”