There was once a time in Piemonte, decades ago, when growers had to beg clients stocking up on Dolcetto and Barbera to also pick up a few bottles of Barolo. It seems unimaginable today, but the Langhe’s economy once depended far more on the humble reds from its workhorse grapes than on the King of Wines. Uncomplicated and easy to down, Porro’s Dolcetto illustrates the popular appeal of such wines. It smells of violets and wild blackberries, feels soft, plump, and round on the palate, and is completely gulpable.
More than your basic sipper, Massimo Benevelli’s Barbera has reached new heights in 2016. Full-bodied, refreshing, and surprisingly profound, here is a red that absolutely shines at table. For fans of older wines, take note of this bargain buy for your cellar—five or ten years will do it no harm at all.
A soft-spoken family man rarely seen outside of his vineyards or cellar, Silvio Giamello is a maestro of textbook Barbaresco: high-toned, floral, and wonderfully refined. Look no further for a bright, perfumy Nebbiolo crafted traditionally, raised in botti grandi (large casks). I expect it to reach its peak in about five years.