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Noisy Water Winery

Audrey Penn
July 10, 2024 | Wine Geek Wednesday | Audrey Penn

Wine Geek Wednesday: Barbera

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Today, we're doing the deep-dive into a wine that's a true gem– Barbera. Wine can sometimes feel intimidating, especially when you're staring at a long list at a tasting room.
No worries, we've got your back. Let's unravel the story of Barbera, the wine of the people, and why it deserves a special place in your glass and heart.
A Sip of History.

Barbera [bar-BAIR-ah] took deep roots in the hills of Monferrato in central Piedmont, Italy. Dating back, possibly, as far as the 7th century! Despite being the second-most planted grape in Italy, next to Nebbiolo, Barbera stands out for its humble, approachable charm. It’s the kind of wine that feels like a warm hug from an old friend – always there, ready to be enjoyed at any stage of its life.
The Italian Connection.

Barbera is particularly celebrated in the regions of Asti and Alba in Piedmont. These areas are like the Hollywood of Barbera – if grapes could have a red carpet, this is where they’d walk it. The majority of Barbera wines are varietals, meaning they're made from a single Barbera grape variety. This singular focus brings out the best in Barbera, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.
When you’re out with friends, maybe feeling a tad overwhelmed by an extensive wine list, just remember this: you can never go wrong with Barbera. It’s like finding the perfect outfit that looks good no matter the occasion.

The Unique Charm of Barbera.

So what is it that makes Barbera stand out? It's all in the balance. Barbera is high in acidity but low in tannins, which means it develops its flavors more quickly than other wines. This unique trait makes Barbera a delightful choice as a young wine – she's vibrant, fruit-forward, and oh-so-drinkable.

When it comes to Barbera in winemaking, it's a bit like choosing your adventure– no matter which path you take, the destination is pure deliciousness. Winemakers love playing around with Barbera. Some ferment or mature it in oak barrels, which brings out richer fruit and spice notes like dark cherry and clove. Others prefer stainless steel tanks, keeping the wine's natural tart and fruity profile intact.


A Tale of Terroir.

Terroir [tehr·waar], the soil and climate where Barbera grows, plays a huge role in its character. In Piedmont, calcareous soils provide excellent drainage and contribute to the grape's acidity. Different regions bring their own flair – from clay to sandy soils, each adds a unique twist to the grape’s development.

Barbera thrives in warm climates, but it’s the temperature fluctuations that really make it shine. Warm days help the grapes ripen fully, while cool nights preserve their acidity. This balance, what we call the diurnal shift, is key to producing the vibrant, balanced wines we love.

Outside of Italy, Barbera adapts beautifully to different terroirs. In New Mexico, for instance – the warm climate leads to riper fruit flavors. Meanwhile, other regions might highlight Barbera’s acidity and vibrance.

Here in New Mexico.

Here at Noisy Water Winery, we’re proud to craft Barbera that tells its own unique story. Our grapes come from the Jaramillo Vineyard in Belen and spend 32 months in mixed oak. The result? A wine that’s a harmonious blend of vibrant acidity as well as rich, complex flavors – perfect for any occasion.

2021 Barbera
2021 Barbera
black cherry • vanilla • oak

On the nose, 2021 Barbera opens with vibrant red fruit aromas, setting a lively and inviting tone for the senses. The palate offers a beautifully rich blend of dark cherry, vanilla and subtle oaky undertones, a result of 32 months of aging in mixed oak, imparts a soft, lingering finish. This Barbera is enjoyable as a stand-alone or paired with red meats or dark chocolate.


Thirsting for More Wine Knowledge?

Book a Winery Tour and let us give you a guided tour of our production facility. We'll show you how our wines are made from New Mexico vine, all the way to the bottle. Exclusive barrel & tank samplings included on the tour!

Book Now

Come see us for a tasting soon. We'll show you our favorite New Mexican grown varietals in the bottle.

Cheers, friends!
Noisy Water Winery
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