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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

My Best Value Wine of 2010

Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Superiore Le Orme 2007

Alison Napjus
Posted: January 5, 2011

My family spent the holidays in New Hampshire this year, enjoying all of the usual holiday cheer as well as wintry delights such as sleigh rides, skiing and, of course, lots of blazing fires accompanied by good bottles of wine. But I discovered an additional draw for New Hampshire—the “Wine and Dine” promotion on Thursday evenings at Fratello’s restaurant in Laconia, when any selection from the wine list is half off when ordered along with two entrées.

This special meant that my selection, the Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Superiore Le Orme 2007, was a mere $14 a bottle—the cost of many a glass of wine in New York City restaurants! Even had I paid the wine’s full price of $28 a bottle, I would have been pleased with this Italian red. It was light- to medium-bodied, with pretty raspberry, plum and spice notes, and a nice juiciness to the acidity. It paired well with the range of entrées ordered by my group, and I rated it 88 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti Superiore Le Orme 2007 (86, $15).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Barbera d'Asti and Barbera d'Alba, from Italy’s Piedmont region, along with our quick list of Top Values among Italian reds.

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