Indigenous Selections Barbera

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“Great wines require solid ideals, hard work and most importantly dedication.” An incredibly true statement. And particularly true for the man behind this wine, Indigenous Barbera - Giorgio Rivetti. Giorgio grew up in humble origins in the 1970s, with his parents being farmers in Barbaresco in the early 1960s. Back then Barbaresco, and its now-famed neighbor to the south, Barolo, were not what they are today. They were, in essence, country backwaters, where I am told riding horses for transportation was still common and hunting was the way most families put meat on the table.

And then along came a revolution – The Barolo Boys, young men who in the 1980s and early 1990s introduced new winemaking concepts into the region, both in the vineyard and in their wineries. And not only that, but as friends they took their show on the road. Literally – going around to any place that would have them to taste people on their “New Style” of Barolo. And with that, they altered this wine region forever, reclaiming its identity as The Wine of Kings and the King of Wines.

Our Giorgio Rivetti was the youngest member of that group – I believe all of 14 when he started “touring” with this wild group of visionaries, and 17 the first time he came to the United States. But on that trip, what he brought with him, was the summation of his family’s generational long line of winemakers – a Barbera.

Barbera – the wine Barolo drinkers drink when they’re not drinking Barolo. Why? Because it’s fresh, juicy, red-fruited, a little spicy, a whole lotta pleasure, and one gulp just won’t do. Barbera is a wine made for drinking and savoring all the liveliness in your glass. Yes, there is complexity and depth in Barbera, but when it’s so easily down the hatch, why complicate matters?

To say the least, it was a bold move, being the young’un of the group to lift your head high and pour the “easy” wine from the region. But that is exactly what Giorgio did, and now he is both famous, and incredibly successful, for it.

This guy’s got brains – he went from the singular Barbera, to now owning at least three wineries and his owning his own US import company: Indigenous. You can probably guess where I am going at this point. Giorgio’s wines (including the Barbera) have become famous world-wide and concomitantly prices have climbed. But in the US, he still wants something to introduce his family’s products, a generous welcome into the Rivetti style. And so, he created this blend, the Indgienous Barbera. And indeed, generous it is:

A vivid perfume of violets, red plums, roses and fresh raspberries leaps to the nose with a gorgeous display of fruit. In the best of Barberas—which this one is—that fruitiness is combined with a certain Italian seasoning of savoriness: spices, cedar, brambly fruits and touches of roasted truffles. Now some of you may know Giorgio’s “other” Barberas, which sell for much, much more. We’ve definitely got those for sale (please inquire) but quite frankly, this wine is built out of those. It’s stunningly delicious, a showstopper of a wine. BUT, you’re gonna be too darn busy drinking it, and enjoying family, friends and food, that you’ll never know that it leveled up your dining experience, from a fun frolic to joyful prancing. Salute!