HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Bricco Dei Tati 2008 Barbera, DOC Piemonte, Italy. 12.5% ABV, $9 and up.

Just delicious. This fresh, off-the-beaten-path red started out with some funky barnyard on the nose, but opened up quickly and gave way to dust, lively black fruits, and some spice. Medium-bodied but full-flavored, it tastes a lot more expensive than it is.

WEB NOTES: In the summer of 2006 Emanuele and Mary Beth Gaiarin purchased a modest vineyard of 1.5 hectares (3 American acres) covering a small hill in the heart of the Langhe growing region of Piedmont, Barbaresco DOC. The estate is planted primarily in Dolcetto grapes, but they cultivate grapes on two neighboring estates as well to make a Barbera and Cortese. The farm house, considered “new” by Italian standards, was built in the early 1800s and some of the vines in the vineyard are almost as old. The cantina and cellar are dug out of the hill directly under the house. The previous owners and their ancestors made organic Dolcetto and Barbera wines from the grapes on the property for as far back as anyone in the village can remember. In the small cellar are eight 7,000 liter cement tanks and a 100 year old grape press. Emanuele and Mary Beth live with their two sons in the farm house located on the estate where they oversee the winemaking using sustainable farming practices. They are creating excellent indigenous wines that are be sold at “every day” affordable prices, a concept that many wine estates around them reject since the glory is in the more expensive wines. The US market, however, has enthusiastically embraced the Tati wines and the concept behind them. Emanuele Gaiarin, a native of the coastal Veneto region of Italy, and Mary Beth Gaiarin, a native of Washington, D.C., are also founders and owners of Siema Wines, a U.S. importer and distributor of fine wines from small, family-owned estates from all over the world, located in Virginia and with distribution in fifteen east coast and mid-western states.

WEB: www.BriccoDeiTati.com, www.SiemaWines.com

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