I'm going to apologize ahead of time as a warning for my gushing all over this wine. When I saw that a Coppo Barbera was this month's selection, I jumped so high off my chair that I hit my knee on the table. I could write three newsletters on this winery, so I'll do my best to keep it down to one. The winery was founded in 1892 by Piero Coppo, on the hallowed ground of Piedmont in northeastern Italy. Piedmont is known for two of the greatest wines in the world: Barolo and Barbaresco - both made from the Nebbiolo grape.
Coppo wasn't in those areas and therefore couldn't make those heralded wines. They did make sparkling wine and Barbera, because those were the wines made in that region of Piedmont.
Up until the 1980s, Barbera was a workhorse grape, as it was planted everywhere and was used mostly in blends to give strength and color to simpler wines.
It never shined on its own until two winemakers, Giacomo Bologna and Coppo, decided that they could make great Barbera by lowering the yields and placing it in new French oak barrels to round out the hard edges.
The results were mesmerizing. Even after 30 years, people are still new to Coppo Barbera, but one sip will make you best friends. The wine is nothing short of other-worldly, from the dense dark color to the plum and anise middle to the grand and glorious finish, it sings.
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