A wonderful, thoughtful write-up of Fattoria dei Barbi’s Brusco dei Barbi by Fulvia Clerici Bagozzi and Mario Crosta for the popular Italian wine-centric website Lavinium (translation by our blogmaster).
A smart ruby red wine that was born following Giovanni Colombini’s lengthy studies in the 1960s and 1970s on the fermentation of grapes grown in Montalcino. I’ve had the opportunity to taste and enjoy this wine back with the 1978 vintage, which I tasted two years later in Milan, and then 37 years later in Montalcino.
In its youth, it’s a very versatile wine that delivers pure, clean, and dominant fruit notes typically found in Sangiovese and the floral notes imparted by the blending grapes. It’s an lovely wine to share with friends over everyday meals. The winery recommends drinking it young. But it will surprise the drinker as it ages, when it loses the fresh aromas of wild strawberries, ripe cherries, and raspberry jam of its youth. When it reaches a much riper age, it develops rich flavors of the same fruit but as brandy-cured fruits. Carob is added to the rhubarb of its youth, along with leafy earth flavors, porcini mushrooms, and gun powder.
This is the reason why I am so happy that the winery finally decided, a few months ago, to sell the old bottles that have been lying in the dark in its cellar, where they enjoy the ideal temperature and humidity conditions at the winery’s ancient estate in Podernovi village. Each bottle has been opened, checked, deemed ready to drink, topped off, and re-sealed.
As soon as the grapes for this wine are harvested, they are delivered to the winery, which lies adjacent to the vineyards. They are de-stemmed and crushed and the immediately cooled to 16° C. in order to obtain the greatest extraction of their noble anthocyanins and polyphenols. Alcoholic fermentation takes place over 10-12 days at a controlled temperature of 27-28° C. and the wine remains for months in stainless-steel tanks before bottling.