This Piedmont wine had a lot going for it: Barbera in general is high in acid, making it an excellent companion to dishes involving tomato sauces (which form a large part of my diet); and it was also cheap, costing somewhere in the $8 range.

But, even with reduced expectations, I am not altogether pleased. This red wine presented a nice ruby color with a little purple at the edges, and offered spicy, warm aromas. But on the taste something nasty happened: a big slap of acid overwhelmed the fruit and tannin flavors and left me recoiling. It's a shame, as it gave me what I expected, only much too much of it. The tannins were nice and ripe, and the fruit was modest, but it was a tough drink. Interestingly, this was labeled "superiore," which means that it was relatively high in alcohol--something that the winery may have engineered to mask the acid.

I am led to believe that the 1998 Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti is a thing of beauty, though...I'll let you know.

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