Domenico’s Barbera grows on a chalky hillside called Valbianchera, which rises above the town of Montà d’Alba at an altitude of 350 meters. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, and matures for fifteen months in small oak barrels before bottling. The nose blossoms with ripe black cherries, damson plums, sandalwood, and a suggestion of pine needles and chocolate. On the palate, a vein of pronounced minerality underpins the spicy red and black fruit flavors, which are framed in supple, fine-grained tannins that come from a mix of used barriques. The finish is long and elegant, echoing delicate spiciness and refreshing acidity.
About this wine producer: The Almondos have grown grapes in Roero for more than three centuries, but it was Domenico’s father, Giovanni Almondo, who was the first to bottle the wines. There are six hectares of Arneis, the noble white variety of Piemonte, along with four hectares of Nebbiolo for the Roeros, one-and-a-half hectares of Barbera, and a tiny parcel of Brachetto which goes into the classic, slightly sparkling, pale sweet Fosso della Rosa. Giovanni Almondo still works in the vineyards, but day-to-day operations are in the hands of Domenico and his sons, Stefano and Federico, who are all uncompromising perfectionists in the vineyard and in the cellar.