Porro’s Barbera straddles the line between an everyday pizza wine and a more substantial red that expresses nuance and can even improve with age. For a Wednesday night pasta dinner, it checks all the boxes: ripe berry fruit with cleansing acidity; richness contrasted by vivaciousness. However, if you have a cellar, don’t hesitate to lay down a few bottles: in a balanced vintage like 2016, this wine has serious potential. The 2003, for example, still drinks superbly. After all, these Barbera vines sit in a privileged Barolo site, so there is no shortage of pedigree.
Don’t be fooled: this is a simple Langhe Nebbiolo in name and in price, but there is much more to it. The grapes are sourced from parcels adjacent to two legendary Barolo crus in the commune of Serralunga d’Alba: Lazzarito and the fabled Vigna Rionda. Having tasted Porro’s Baroli from these two sites, I infer that the Lazzarito portion provides this Nebbiolo with its surprising finesse, in the form of plush, toothsome fruit and a lovely perfume of dried flowers. The Vigna Rionda portion, conversely, supplies power and earthy grip. You’ll find enough structure to take this rosso seriously, but not enough to keep you from gulping it down unabashedly.