The 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba extends Sergio Gomba’s hot hand with Barbera and underscores Gomba’s ability to consistently fashion velvety smooth Barbera d’Alba that is both satisfying and easy to drink. Like its predecessors in 2010 and 2011, the 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba expresses the sensual side of Barbera and highlights Barbera’s rise in prominence over the past decade. The 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba offers up a savory aroma that reminds us of the finest traditional Barbera wines of yesteryear. Instead of trying to imitate Barolo – Barbera’s bigger brooding brother that often requires years to resolve itself – Gomba fashions his Barbera to be drunk young and fresh within the first five or six years of life. The deep ruby and purple tinged 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba bears the scents and flavors of ripe Bing cherries, lavender, violets, and woodland berries. In the mouth, the wine’s captivating flavors glide easily across the tongue and around the mouth, offering beautiful Barbera fruit and touches of spice – all held together by soft ripe tannins. Although plush and easy to drink from the moment the cork is pulled, the 2012 Querciola Barbera will benefit from a bit of aeration in order to fully reveal all of its charm and grace. We suggest allowing the Querciola Barbera at least twenty minutes of breathing time before serving at cool room temperature (60º-65ºF). Enjoy!
The 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba offers the ideal accompaniment to traditional Piedmontese recipes such as Agnolotti – savory Piedmontese ravioli. Mushroom and Prosciutto Rigatoni with a béchamel sauce provides an ideal accompaniment, too. Veal Marengo and Fonduta, Piedmont’s delicious Fondue made with melted Fontina cheese from nearby Val d’Aosta combined with butter, eggs, milk, and shavings of white truffle, is hard to beat as well. But no need to be an accomplished chef to enjoy the 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba; it pairs equally well with everyday fare. Herb roasted rotisserie chicken, mid week meatloaf, and almost any rich heady pasta will positively shine in the presence of the 2012 Querciola Barbera d’Alba. Pizza, calzones, lasagna, and smoked meats make good companions to Querciola’s Barbera d’Alba as well. Risotto and Polenta (Northern Italy’s version of grits), prepared with plenty of fresh butter, cream, and grilled Italian sausage with cheese or fennel, offer additional easy to prepare treats with Querciola’s succulent 2012 Barbera d’Alba.
Sergio Gomba’s Boschetti estate remains relatively unknown outside of its local area, despite a string of strong performances. One reason is likely the confusion that ensues regarding the estate’s name (Boschetti) and the name under which Gomba markets his estate Barbera and Barolo – Querciola. Scarcity of course is another reason. Diminutive in size, Gomba’s total area under vine comprises just 24 acres. A small part of the estate’s total acreage is devoted to Piedmont’s legendary Barolo; most of the remainder of the Boschetti hillside estate, which overlooks the tiny village of Barolo, is planted to Barolo’s best kept secret – Barbera. All of Sergio Gomba’s vineyards face south and southwest to ensure maximum sun exposure.
Barolo, made from the noble Nebbiolo vine, reigns as king throughout the village of Barolo. In fact, Gomba bottles two very fine estate bottled Baroli under the Querciola label, which he names Boschetti and Sori. However, it is Querciola’s aromatic, juicy Barbera d’Alba that is beginning to earn Gomba the greatest accolades at home and abroad. What most consumers don’t realize is that great Barolo producers such as Sergio Gomba are equally adept with Piedmont’s most important red grape varietal, Barbera, whose vines occupy the slower slopes of the estate’s hillside vineyards. In keeping with his family’s long tradition and the style of wine most associated with the village that lends its name to the most illustrious of Italian wines, Sergio Gomba fashions tender, hedonistic Barbera and Barolo wines that can be drunk young or tucked away for up to a decade or more in the case of the Barolo.
In the north of Italy, nestled just beneath the great Alpine wall as it tumbles out of Switzerland and the gleaming Mediterranean Sea, lies Piemonte. It is a region of myriad beauty, with its steep rolling hills and medieval villages. It is also the region of Italy closest to France in proximity as well as in the sheer quality and variety of exceptional wines it produces. For centuries, Italy’s Piedmont remained a prize to be won among warring European powers, no doubt at least in part on account of the province’s world famous cuisine that still draws happily on the abundance and quality of local truffles. Yet today, it is the superbly made wines of Italy’s Piedmont that garner the most international recognition: complex, hedonistic red wines, still delicate whites, and sweet haunting Muscats. With such exquisite fare, should anyone question why the hearty robust delights of the Piedmontese table remain the region’s most famous ambassadors to a hungry and thirsty world?
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