2006 Monchiero Carbone Barbera d’Alba MonBirone DOC

Mission Codename: Our Lady of MonBirone

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Acquire an exclusive allocation of a Barbera d’Alba for our operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Monchiere Carbone

Wine Subject: 2006 Barbera d’Alba MonBirone DOC

Winemaker: Francesco Carbone


Barbera, the third most planted varietal (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano) in Italy finds its most classic expression in the Piedmont and specifically in Asti and the much smaller Alba region. The best of Barbera is, like this wine, the Barbera d’Alba which can match any Barolo or Barbaresco in terms of overall quality. Barbera d’Alba is characteristically rich and full of flavor and makes up just a small percentage of the total production of the region.The finest Barbera is grown in specific single vineyard crus surrounding those communes. Italian Barbera comes in two basic forms, the tradizione, a more rustic old-world style and newer more fruit forward styles similar to the Barbera that is grown in California. Sadly, Barbera is often passed up as a lesser varietal but when done well, these wines show their classic Italian heritage and character.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark and dense purple garnet with ruby streaks through its clear but deep heart. Ruby along the edges and when swirled, evenly spaced legs of random speeds descend to the wine below.

Smell – Both rich and bright, with vibrant aromas of tart red and black berries, cherry and tart plum are layered over hot spice, cocoa and mocha notes. Toasted and smokey oak, spice, balsam and green herbs and hints of earth round out the complex nose.

Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied classic has rustic textured tannins and lively acidity that hits mid palate. Well developed but bright, with a touch of spice, sweet minerality and tartness.

Taste – Rich and smooth, with well balanced and fruit forward flavors of tart blackberry, red plum and ripe cherry integrates with toasted smokey oak, mocha coffee and cocoa. Hints of vanilla toast, soft spice, and soft minerality lingers through to the finish.

Finish -Lingering long with the rich dark fruit fading gently as the textured tannin, acidity and mineral structure holds on just a bit longer.

Conclusion – The 2006 Monchiere Carbone Barbera d’Alba MonBirone DOC is a delicious traditional Barbera that hows that this generally youthful varietal can have both power and complexity to spare. Beautifully dark, rich and complex on the nose, rustic textured on the palate and lively in its flavors this wine is perfect for your fall or winter stews and game meats. Be sure to let this wine breathe and open up to reveal all of its unique aromas and flavors. Drink now or cellar for up to 5 years.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Francesco Carbone

WINE EDUCATION: Alba Piedmonte

WINE JOB BRIEF: Wine Maker for Monchiero Carbone

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Respect the full extent of nature when you are in the vineyard.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: Barbera is a wine that can age but is also very satisfying when it is young.

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1995 Monbrione and a Roero Nebbiolo.


AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Francesco. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Barbera d’Alba MonBirone DOC today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

FRANCESCO: Thank you so much. It is a pleasure talking with you from Italy. I am glad you enjoyed my wine and I am pleased to share it with your operatives.

WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

FRANCESCO: One of my fondest memories was when my Grandfather took me into the family vineyard and taught me how to prune the vines. I realized at that point I wanted to make my life’s work taking care of the vineyard and making best wine possible.

WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

FRANCESCO: My Father gave me a glass of Orvieto.

WHITE: Who do you make wine for?

FRANCESCO: I make wine for myself and my family. Because I put so much of my heart and soul into the wine, the people who drink my wine really enjoy it. They can taste the passion.

WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

FRANCESCO: The grapes have a unique quality the gives the wine fantastic freshness form the acidity, lots of spice on the palate and full body on the finish.

WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

FRANCESCO: Rare (Bloody) Florentine Steak.

WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Piedmont and Alba in particular so special?

FRANCESCO: The soil and the hills create an incredible micro-climate that allows the grapes to develop such complexity.

WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

FRANCESCO: Always trying to create a unique bouquet.

WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

FRANCESCO: If you drink my wines, it will transport you to the hill of Piedmont. So, take a moment you enjoy where wine comes from and taste a little bit of Italy in every sip.

WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

FRANCESCO: When drinking this wine, know you are drinking one of the best Barberas in Piedmont.

WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of Filippo Gallino just north of Alba can be seen in this satellite photo.

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