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2011 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Cascina Francia
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   93(+?)
 RP
  91-93
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93(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2013

(15% alcohol; from limestone soil; both of these 2011 barberas were bottled in June):  Bright ruby-red.  Wild aromas of black raspberry, violet, smoke, game, leather and minerals.  Large-scaled, round and deep, if less sweet and open now than the Cerretta version, with black cherry, blackberry and licorice flavors sharpened by minerality.  This big, wild wine boasts a huge structure for barbera, not to mention Barolo-like depth.  The savory, saline finish leaves the taste buds salivating.  Incredible mineral-driven wine from a vintage that Conterno describes as "unbelievable for barbera:  similar to 2007 but with more acidity to balance its size."

91-93 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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About Italy

Italy, like France, offers a world of wine styles within a single country: dry Italian white wines ranging from lively and minerally to powerful and full-bodied; cheap and cheerful Italian red wines in both a cooler, northern style and a richer, warmer southern style; structured, powerful reds capable of long aging in bottle; sparkling wines; sweet wines and dessert wines.
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Barbera

Piedmont may be famous for its Nebbiolo-based wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, but the inhabitants of this region in Northwest Italy don't drink these big, tannic wines on an everyday basis. When it comes to a weekday dinner's accompaniment, they usually turn to Barbera (when not drinking the other everyday wine of the region, Dolcetto.) With this in mind, it's no surprise that...
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