Wine For the Fortnight – Michele Chiarlo, Barbera d’ Asti, Le Orme, 2008

For the second wine in the series Wine For the Fortnight I have chosen a Barbera d’ Asti from Michele Chiarlo.  His bottling called “Le Orme” is the least expensive of his of his Barberas. Selling for between $9 and $14 it is a very good value.  Barbera d’ Asti is a single varietal red wine made from the Barbera grape in the Piedmont region of northern Italy.  Barbera is a somewhat unusual red wine grape as it is very low in tannin.  Sometimes makers age Barbera in oak barrels to add tannins.  They can be good wines but I tend to like Barberas in a more natural state.

Le Orme has a nice balance of fruit and acidity.  For me the predominant flavor is cherry which goes well with its bright cherry color.  The lack of tannins make it a wine that is thirst quenching and doesn’t overwhelm lighter foods.  The acidity allows it to go well with richer dishes as well.  While it is not a showcase type wine it is a nice wine to have a glass of on its own and it goes very well with food.

If you like Italian reds the chances are good you will enjoy Le Orme.  Best of all it is relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

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