Kent’s Pick: 2011 I Tre Vescovi Barbera D’Asti Superiore, $12.99

I really enjoy Barbera, because it’s a very versatile wine that can pair well with a lot of different foods. So when we brought in the I Tre Vescovi, I knew I wanted to take a bottle home. One of the things that peaked my interest in the wine was the ‘Superiore’ classification. For Barbera to be classified as Superiore, the wine must have an alcohol content of at least 12.5 percent, and must be aged for at least 14 months, of which six must be in oak or chestnut barrels. The resulting wine will be bigger in fruit and rounder in texture. The nose of the I Tre Vescovi shows ripe dark fruit and a hint of earth. On the palate, the wine is soft and supple due to the oak aging (this bottling spent over a year in oak) and slightly higher alcohol content which makes it a bit lower in acid than you would normally find in a Barbera. Flavors of dark raspberries, ripe cherries, and a touch of earth are framed in a light vanilla note. This is a great food wine: pair it with pork chops or pork tenderloin, but it will also stand up to a hearty beef or lamb stew.