Luigi Vico Robur Vitae Barbera 2018

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There are plenty of modern versions of Barbera in the market these days with heavy oak and softer acidity to make them more drinkable for an international audience. Great wines they might be, but these are not real Barberas, with its spine-tingling acidity and chewy tannins giving serious bite. So great to see this proudly traditional and even rustic version from Luigi Vico from the town of Serralunga d’Alba. It opens with a powerful core of savoury fruits – dark cherries dipped in tar and topped with dried herbs and potpourri lifted by touches of old leather. It’s followed by a muscular palate dominated by intensely tannic, brooding fruits that are also vibrant thanks to a steely acid backbone which then leads to a long and chewy finish. It’s a flavour sensation that is worth tracking down.

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