Tag Archives: Marchesi di Barolo Maraia

Wine of the week: Marchesi di Barolo Maràia 2016

Marchesi di Barolo MaràiaThe Marchesi di Barolo Maràia may not be as well known as its nebbiolo-based cousins, but it offers much in value and quality

One of the advantages of the quality independent retailer? That you can pick almost anything off the shelf, even if you don’t know much about the wine, and figure you have more than a decent chance of buying something you’ll enjoy. Which is exactly how I bought the Marchesi di Barolo Maràia.

Italian wine is probably the most difficult to understand in the world, what with an almost infinite number of grapes (many of which have different names in different parts of the country), a dizzying array of regions, and a mostly incomprehensible appellation system. So, when there is no one to ask (and on this day there wasn’t), even those of us who make our living from wine have to take potluck.

Which is how I found the Marchesi di Barolo Maràia ($10, purchased, 13.5%). This red, made with the barbera grape, is from the Monferrato region in Piedmont. That combination means it’s not as pricey or as respected as the nebbiolo wines from Piedmont’s Barolo and Barbaresco regions. (I told you this was complicated, didn’t I?)

But it doesn’t mean it’s not a quality bottle. Barbera makes bright, almost tart, red cherryish wines. The Maraia is more supple than that, and it wasn’t as taut as I expected. Still, the fresh fruit was there (more black cherry than red) and balanced with Italian-style acidity and soft tannins. In all, well made and enjoyable.

Drink this with winter roasts and stews, as well as sausage and red sauce.

Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons

Wine of the week: Marchesi di Barolo Maraia 2014

Marchesi di BarolaThe Marchesi di Barola reminds us that there’s a reason the best Italian wine, at any price, tastes like it came from Italy

The Italian Wine Guy regularly writes about the battle for the soul of Italian wine, the divide between those who make Italian wine and those who make wine in Italy and don’t worry about how Italian it is.

That divide, which I see often, bothers me. What’s the point of making Italian wine that tastes like it came from California? Don’t we already have lots of wine like that? What’s wrong with making wine that tastes like it came from Italy?

Which is why the Marchesi di Barolo ($10, purchased, 13%) made me smile.

The Marchesi di Barolo is a corner grocery wine; that is, the kind of wine you buy for three or four euros when you stop on the way home to pick up bread and cheese for dinner. And no, it’s not like anything sold at 7-Eleven.

But does this mean it’s a 93 point with layers of nuance, pretensions of snobbery, and a hefty price tag? Of course not. This red made with the iconic barbera grape is a simple, but not stupid, Italian red wine to have with dinner. That’s it’s reason for being – sour cherry fruit, some earthiness, and those rustic tannins that remind us that smooth should not be the goal of very wine in the world.