This past March marked the 50th anniversary of the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, arguably one of the greatest, most influential rock albums of all time. Released on March 7th 1967 the album was a commercial flop, selling a measly 30,000 copies on its debut. But, the album’s “insidious” influence on a slew of musical genres over the past 50 years, combined with a cult following and critical acclaim, garnered the album the #13 spot on Rolling Stones Greatest Albums of All Time List and landed it in the Library of Congress.
For this listener, the pure simplicity of the album’s brutish, understated, unpolished, unproduced sound resonates with me, and ultimately alters the way I look at wine, food, music and art in general. As the great wine writer Matt Kramer would say, the album has an indelible “There, There,” that makes you take notice that something is inherently different “here,” and it’s intoxicatingly beautiful.
Much like the way the pounding, driving rhythm of Waiting For The Man, grabs your attention and seemingly etches the dark lyrics into your soul, so do the wines produced at the hands of Marina Marcarino, proprietor and winemaker at Punset, a bucolic Barbaresco property located just outside the town of Nieve.
If you’re looking for the vinified form of that dark driving, unproduced rhythm pouring from a warm amp that conjures the fuzzy and veracious voice of Lou Reed, look no further than Marina’s Barbera.
All of Marina’s wines are produced with an organic and minimalistic approach, adhering to the principles and philosophies of Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, who championed the “agriculture of doing nothing.” I always appreciate the pureness of fruit her wines display with their signature rusticity and depth that echo a true “There There.” And on a poetic level, the woman herself. Her Barbera, always a sumptuous wallop of fresh red and black fruit with mouthwatering acidity seems to vibrate with that same nervous, goose bump inducing deliciousness, usually found when listening to unadulterated rock n’roll at unhealthy decibel levels. While her wines may not appear in Rolling Stone, her 2007 Barberesco garnered the #17 spot on Wine Spectators top 100 in 2012.
Marina’s 2015 bottling of Barbera D’Alba, is no exception; it simply rocks with all the same vibrant, rustic energy of Run Run Run or There She Goes Again. It’s as playful and accessible on the palate as Lou Reed’s colorful Lyrics.
In the glass the wine is opaque and purple with crimson hues, and quite expressive on the nose with candied plum, fresh raspberry, wild strawberry and black cherry. Within the wine’s core of plush, glossy fruit, there is also a lovely, distinct note of Christmas pudding and loamy earth that lingers in the glass.
Find the “There There” …here at Swigg.