Wine Wednesday: Montaribaldi 2009 Tre Stelle

I love Fall. The colors...the food...and the wine are so comforting. I've been on my soup and stew kick lately and there is nothing I like to pair more with soup or stew more than a hearty Italian wine. For me Italian reds are synonymous with fall: earthy, spicy, peppery, leathery, chewy fruit with bright acid...gets me every time. The wine I am sharing with you today is actually an old standby favorite. I was first introduced to this wine back when I was a server and we had this on our wine list.

Today for Wine Wednesday I bring you Montaribaldi's 2009 "Tre Stelle" from Langhe. However, before I go into the wine I want to tell you a little bit about Langhe and the greater Barbaresco region and what makes it so great.

Map courtesy of

This is a map of Barbaresco a region part of the greater Piedmont region. Piedmont is the most important and regarded regions of Italy due to Barolo, Barbaresco and Moscato d' Asti. Barolo is a region known for it's high quality production of the Nebiolo grape grown on careous marl. These wines are bold, tannic long lived wines. Barbaresco kind of plays the quieter little sister to Barolo. While also known for the Nebiolo grape grown on the same soil, Barbaresco is also planted with Dolcetto and Barbera. Nebiolo is usually harvest about a month earlier in Barbaresco than it is in Barbera which may contribute to it's higher acid, less diluted and lower alcohol than of Barolos. This is where the quieter younger sister comes in to play. All these factors make Barbaresco a pleasure to drink young: (3-10 years cellaring tops), brighter, juicier and more fragrant than Barolo.

Photo courtesy of

Wine Guild of Charlottesville

This wine is a blend of all three of the varietals that I had mentioned earlier: Nebiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera hailing from Tres Stelle vineyard in Langhe. Montaribaldi has always belonged to the Taliano family. The newest generation has fought to keep the traditional winemaking  techniques in place, saving the wines from falling to the trend of high alcohol levels and being overly oaked. I for one thank them for this because I find their wines to have great elegance and finesse. These wines pair well with a number of dishes from hearty stews, soups to Arancini, chicken or pork cutlets, pasta Bolognese, or roasted winter squash.

The Montaribaldi 2009 Tre Stelle has aromas of cherry, currants, potpourri, olives and tobacco. The flavors echoed some of the same including currants, dried cherries, savory herbs, olives with a singing acidity and moderate tannins. We enjoyed this wine with a tomato and bean stew and garlic toast (recipe to follow soon). I picked this wine up for $13.95 and it is definite favorite in our house, so I hope you give Barbaresco a try! Happy Fall!