Somewhat surprisingly Barbera accounts for more than 50% of all the wine produced in Piedmont, its native region. The majority is sold simply as everyday 'Barbera del Piemonte', but the more impressive examples invariably come from the DOCs Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti. It's a relatively late-ripening variety, after Dolcetto but before Nebbiolo. The wines often have notably low levels of tannin but they do tend to have pronounced acidity. Barbera wines vary widely in quality and character from slightly tart, charmless mouth-washers through to powerful, inky, exotic and intensely flavoured wines that can require extended cellaring.