On my recent visit to Piedmont I included five producers in the neighboring village of Barbaresco since I've often given them short shrift. Known as the Queen of Nebbiolo, in contrast to Barolo the King, Barbaresco has a reputation for being a softer, more elegantly styled example of Nebbiolo. While this is undoubtedly true, the accompanying sentiment, that because of this it can't quite achieve the heights of Barolo, also seems somewhat ingrained in the marketplace, and that is of course terribly unfounded.

Barbaresco will rarely have the sheer power of Barolo, but the wines are simply different, not less good. While that may be true there is in fact a bit of factual information supporting the idea that great wines are harder to find. Simply put there are fewer of them.