Set The Bar
Lifestyle in Style

Grandi Marchi: Michele Chiarlo Reyna Barbaresco 2015

You may recall an earlier article I wrote about a consortium of family wineries in Italy called “Grandi Marchi”. It markets itself as “promoting Italy’s best bottles and producers on a global scale”. Sounds impressive eh?  However I recall tasting some 18 Grandi Marchi wines last month and only three really impressed me. One of three was a “La Court” which was a Michele Chiarlo 2015 Barbera d’Asti Nizza Riserva DOCG. This wine is only released in the best years.

The winery was founded by the current owner in 1956 at Calamandrana in Piedmont the heart of the classic zone of production of Barbera d’Asti. The winery currently owns some 60 hectares of vineyards while another 52 hectares are managed with long term contracts. La Court is recognized by the winery “ as the highest importance to this winery where the Barbera d’Asti of great acclaim is produced”.

So we are trying a wine of lesser importance but as a great Italian family winery can they deliver?

In colour dark ruby.

On the nose very clean and precise black cherry, raspberry and freshly picked local strawberries. In fact it’s quite divine!

On the palate very deft and light almost reminding one of a lightweight Pinot Noir. Some black cherry, tar and cedar but sadly very little depth and complexity. Its smooth and drinkable but little more than a bistro wine. The La Court Nizza Barbera d’Asti 2015 I sampled was superb. This Reyna Barbera is pedantic and lacking in character.

To come from such a high to such a lacklustre wine is terribly disappointing!

(Michele Chiarlo D.O.C.G. Reyna Barbaresco 2015, Michele Chiarlo s.r.l., Calamandrana, Italy, $ 36.95, LCBO # 583260, 14%, 750 mL, Set The Bar Rating 89/100).

By the way James Suckling, the famed Wine Spectator guru defector, gave this a 94. I say that his ratings are always somewhat inflated. Perhaps I am just a tough ignorant bastard? He says drink until 2022. I disagree and say if you want to shell out this kind of money for this quality of wine drink ASAP.

I will suggest align yourself with a wine writer you trust and agree with and safe passage to you. Of course, I am happy to be that person for you!

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