Here we are at the forth wine of the "Taste My Vacation" wine tasting event, and this one is from a winery that I got to know and really like on my trip last May, the 2008 Forgeron Barbera. Now I really liked what I found at Forgeron, and Marie-Eve Gilla is making some wonderfully sophisticated, yet food friendly wines, including the Walldeaux Smithie I reviewed back in June. The second thing to like about this wine is the fact that it's a Barbera, a varietal I've enjoyed since I first tried Woodward Canyon's offering back in the 2002 vintage. Barberas have such a wonderful flair that make them a delight for pairing with a variety of dishes, which likely explains why I am so enamored with them.
The 2008 Forgeron Barbera has a lovely deep ruby color in the glass, but with an opacity that really reminds me of many of the lovely wines of Tuscany, somewhat lighter than a typical Cabernet. The nose is lovely, with notes of leather, blackberry and anise. The taste is somewhat fruit forward, with flavors of ripe plum dominating, but then we transition to some serious spice notes that often come from a wonderful Barbera, before yielding to a wonderfully smooth, dry finish.
This wine would be a perfect complement to a wide variety of Italian dishes, from basic pasta with red sauce, to a lovely mushroom risotto, or buccotini carbonara, but it would also pair quite nicely with a number of French dishes, and here I'm thinking chicken Provencal, or a number of other dishes from Provence, as the spice of the wine can really hold up nicely to the richness and creaminess of these dishes. Among the group at the tasting, the consensus was that this was our second favorite wine, which is saying a lot since there was some pretty significant competition! Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a lovely, food friendly wine that can serve as the star of the show or a great supporting cast member!