If you’ve read any of the wine reviews I’ve posted over the last couple of years, you are well aware of my fondness for the unusual, the eccentric, and the downright outside-the-box ( literally and figuratively) wines that pop up.
The latest discovery was Hilberg-Pasquero’s 2007 “Vareij,” a one-of-a-kind blend of 80% Brachetto and 20% Barbera. As far as I know, no one else is attempting to merge these Piedmontese varietals, and if they are, it’s doubtful the results could be more interesting.
It opens to intense aromas of spice and sharp red fruits, followed by waves of blueberries and exotic hints of cumin that may remind some of Lacrima di Morro d’Alba from Marche. The fruit stays ripe and juicy, strawberries and red raspberries from the Brachetto, riding on a refreshing layer of acidity supplied by the Barbera. Refreshing and accessible.
The fact this is labeled a VdT may unintentionally be damning it with faint praise, especially among consumers looking for those DOC and DOCG “guarantees.” Hmm, weren’t there some Super Tuscans that began life as VdT’s?