March 01, 2006

Pico Maccario 2003 Barbera d'Asti Berrò, about $12

There are few bargains in Piedmont wines, and this is one of them. The label itself says "drink me!" "Berrò" means "I will drink" in Italian.

The juice inside makes good on the promise: It's plump and juicy with cherry flavor, its Piedmontese profile coming through in its spicy, truffley notes. The Maccario brothers are specialists in barbera wines, and their talent shows though particularly well in the 2003 vintage, when so many of the region's wines were ripened to a jammy density in the vintage's heat.

Berrò, on the other hand, has both intense flavor and grace. It makes it easy to say its name, whether with a platter of salumi or over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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