Here's a stunning Italian red from Piedmont that's also an incredible value. Franco Amoroso is a small producer of excellent quality wines. In Asti, Barbera get's the royal treatment; prime vineyard locations and hands-on attention and care. This wine is a DOCG Superiore which is reserved for the biggest, most intense wines. This wine is aged 12 months in oak barrels (6 more than required for Superiore) and then 6 months in the bottle before release. It shows the bright vibrancy that this grape is known for but with additional backbone and hints of compelling vanilla spice from the oak.
Barbera is typically marked by flavors of red cherry, raspberry or blackberry and backed by a signature zingy acidity. Warmer sites produce Barberas with intensely ripe fruit and complex notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise and nutmeg. Cooler sites will produce a lighter Barbera with more finesse and intriguing notes of cranberry, graphite, smoke, lavender and violet.