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Jeff Runquist R Barbera 2012

Barbera from Sierra Foothills, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    This Amador Barbera has a garnet purple color of medium depth. There is a carmine edge to the color's hue. The aromas carry plenty of red fruit; raspberry and cherry are the most predominant. The bouquet has spicy pie crust notes of nutmeg and vanilla. There is also a buttery toasted pastry scent that adds another dimension to this wine's aroma. On the palate this wine is juicy and succulent loaded with ripe red cherry flavors. The tannins are soft and this wine slides down smooth and easy.

    It may not hold up to a porterhouse steak slathered in a peppercorn sauce but it will honor Southern European cuisine especially dishes that incorporate sausage, olives, capers, anchovies, feta cheese or other salty ingredients.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Jeff Runquist

    Jeff Runquist

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    Jeff Runquist, Sierra Foothills, California
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    Jeff Runquist started his adventure in the wine industry in 1977 when he interned with Seagrams at their Paul Masson Sherry Cellars in Madera while studying enology at UC Davis. Upon graduating in 1980, he worked in the cellar at Montevina in Amador County's Shenandoah Valley and was promoted to winemaker in 1982. After a three year stint at the Napa Valley Cooperative Winery from 1987 through 1990, Jeff became the winemaker for the J. Lohr winery in San Jose. It was during his tenure at J. Lohr that it became clear that he was going to have to make wine for himself.

    Jeff produces wines from grapes grown throughout California. At last count he was planning to crush over twenty different varieties from nine different appellations for the 2013 vintage. Most of these wines are produced in very small limited quantities. However, there are four principle wines that the winery strives to have available throughout the year and they are: Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Petit Verdot. ll of Jeff's wines share a theme of fresh fruit reflective of the varietal flavors inherent in the grapes. Jeff selects grapes from vineyards that provide rich full flavors without loads of astringent tannins.

    Sierra Foothills

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    Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.

    Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.

    Friendly, approachable, and full of juicy red fruit, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from youthful, fresh and fruity to serious, structured and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but it is also planted in a few nearby Italian provinces and remains one of the most widely planted varieties in the country. Barbera actually can adapt to many climates and enjoys success in California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and some southern hemisphere wine regions.

    In the Glass

    Barbera is typically marked by red cherry, raspberry, blackberry flavors and backed by a signature zingy acidity. Warmer sites produce Barberas with intensely ripe fruit and complex notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise and nutmeg. Cooler sites will produce a lighter Barbera with more finesse and intriguing notes of cranberry, graphite, smoke, lavender and violet.

    Perfect Pairings

    Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers or barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    In the past it wasn’t common or even accepted to age Barbera in oak but today both styles—oaked and un-oaked—abound, at least in Piedmont. In fact, many Piemontese producers today still make a deliciously pure, fruity and un-oaked version, intended for earlier consumption. The wine world didn't realize Barbera's potential until the work of Giacomo Bologna in Asti in the 1960s. His debut of the barrique-aged Barbera called Bricco dell’Uccelone showed the wine world this grape's true potential. Many of the better bottlings of Piemontese Barbera can age gracefully for 10-15 years.

    AUT12RUNBARBAMA_2012 Item# 136798