Australian Barbera wine regional and flavour profile

Barbera tastes and aromas

Red fruits such as raspberry, cherry and cranberry, with black fruits like blackberry and plums. Barbera has hints of leather and meatiness.

Barbera mouthfeel

Medium to full body, soft tannins, moderate acidity, with a soft and round mouthfeel

Drink Barbera now or later

Barbera wines are generally made to drink while young and fruity. Wines with better balance between acid and fruit, often with the addition of oak and high alcohol content are more capable of cellaring; these wines often result from reduced yield viticultural methods.

Facts about Barbera

  • Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano).
  • The grape produces good yields and is known for deep colour, low tannins and high levels of acid.
  • Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow for the production of long aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content.
  • Many producers employ the use of toasted (seared over a fire) oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, and hints of vanilla notes. The lightest versions are generally known for flavours and aromas of fresh fruit and dried fruits, and are not recommended for cellaring.
  • Barbera has naturally high acid levels, beneficial when grown in warmer climates.
  • Barbera is second only to Sangiovese when it comes to red wine production in Italy, and is sometimes referred to as “the people’s wine,” because it is the wine most frequently drank by the Piemontese, and drank with the widest range of foods.

Australian regions that produce Barbera

There are a large number of potential vineyard sites for Barbera in Australia, however Australia lacks the ideal terroir and viticultural regime that the variety thrives in from its native Piedmont. As a result, it will take a few years before Australia’s Barbera can be considered top quality. Despite this, significant plantings can be found in Australian wine regions including the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, Riverland, Mudgee and the Mornington Peninsula, where it is valued for its blending qualities as well as for making varietal wines.

Internationally, it is widely grown in Piedmont in Northern Italy, as well as South America and California.

Barbera wine and food pairings

Barbera’s vibrant fruit and savoury flavours, fresh acidity and soft tannins make them a very easy to drink wine, and can be ideal accompaniments to Italian style cuisine. They pair particularly well with dishes that have a tomato and herb based sauce, and its high acidity make it ideal to serve with rich and fatty meats such as roast duck

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