UPDATE 1/16/2021: This review is for the long-gone 2004 vintage. After tasting the current (as of this update) vintage which is the 2013, we can no longer recommend this wine. Unfortunately it no longer ranks high enough to be recommended. If you are looking for a serviceable Nebbiolo from Trader Joe's we recommend you check out the Corte Rossa Barolo instead.
The Barreri & Rovati Barbaresco Riserva is available exclusively at Trader Joe's for $19.99. Imported by Latitude Wines.
From the bottle:
Full-bodied, intense and very elegant, with scents of violets, strawberries and vanilla. Ruby-red shading to garnet, it is rich and generous in the mouth, with light vein of tannins and a lingering finish.
Trader Joe's tends to be at its best in the $10 and under category for wine but every once in a while they pull in a higher priced gem. Much like we saw a couple years ago with the 2004 Barolo from this same producer, this wine has no business being under $20. Rarely priced this low to begin with, it's extremely rare to find a Barbaresco Riserva with this much age on it at this price point. Of course, none of this matters if the quality of the wine is bad, so let's find out.
The 2004 Barreri & Rovati Barbaresco Riserva begins with a really strong, perfumed aroma that just sucks you right into the glass. Red cherry, licorice, red currant, spice, lavender, roses, violets and more are all represented in the bouquet of this wine. Tasting the wine shows it be rich and smooth with good acidity, soft tannins and similar flavors to the nose. There's also a streak of spice that grows through the mid-palate and hits a crescendo on the mouth-drying finish which also features plenty of long-lasting fruit.
It's certainly not the best example of Barbaresco you can find if price is no option but this is a darn good wine for $19.99. We paired it with a pizza right after popping it open and it matched wonderfully. I came back to it a couple hours later to find it had developed even more complexity with some air. This wine is aged perfectly right now. It's not often we get an opportunity to taste older wines from Piedmont in our price range so take advantage of this deal while you can. I really enjoyed it.
As always you can find an updated list of all our recommended wines from Trader Joe's as well as more tips and tricks for shopping the store here.