This wine is 100% barbera, and the grapes derive from the limestone and clay soils of the SanSì vineyard in Calosso. The color is deep orange garnet with a limpid rim. Aromas of fennel, smoke, plum, spice, black tar, and wild game rise from the glass, and the wine grips the palate with smooth, smoky-earthy tannin, sweet tobacco, and black fruits. The somewhat high level of alcohol in this otherwise old-worldish wine leaves a bit of burn in the middle of my tongue, but this apologetically tapers into a savory, succulent finish.
The winery notes that SanSì is named after the knightly San Siro. But there are in fact two Saints Syrus: one of Genoa—who concocted some miracles with boats—and the other of Pavia—who was somewhat more catholic in his saintly ministrations. Genoa is in Liguria, and Pavia is in Lombardia, and so neither saint hailed from Piemonte, sandwiched betwixt, whence this Barbera hails. So we’ll just have to called it—and ourselves—blessed.