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Senior editor Alison Napjus joined Wine Spectator in 2000. She is the lead taster for Alsace, Beaujolais and Champagne and also tastes wines from regions throughout Italy.
Alison Napjus

Exploring Italy, One Wine at a Time

Damilano Barbera d’Asti 2008

Alison Napjus
Posted: May 19, 2010

Italy stands out for the production of high-quality wines in areas from the top of the boot all the way to the heel, but one of its most renowned regions is undeniably Piedmont, in the northwestern corner of the country. Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled through Piedmont yet, so I do so in the best way I know how—by trying its wines!

This vinous exploration led me to order a glass of Damilano’s Barbera d'Asti 2008 to pair with some bar food at Manhattan’s Artisanal restaurant, a traditional French brasserie that offers tasty French fare along with an Award of Excellence-winning wine list of diverse, international selections.

Damilano is best known for its Barolos, but it also makes Arneis, two Barberas, Dolcetto and a Nebbiolo d’Alba. The Barbera d’Asti was well-balanced and very supple, making it easy to drink. It showed a pleasant mix of fresh blackberry and blueberry fruit flavors, but also hints of spice and smoke, adding some depth and complexity. I rated it 89 points, non-blind, and ordered a bottle for the table after trying a glass.

Like most Manhattan restaurants, the by-the-glass price was marked up quite a bit, to $13 a glass. But you can easily find a whole bottle for $18 or $19 at retail, and a smart shopper for quite a bit less!

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Damilano Barbera d’Asti 2008 (87, $19).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Barbera d’Asti wines.

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