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Montevina Barbera 2015

Barbera from Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
    13.5% ABV
    • WE89
    • TP90
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2015 Barbera displays a sultry, rich, dark red hue and bright aromas of cherry and Amador spice. Flavors of dark cherry with toasty oak characteristics lead to sweet, soft tannins that melt away in juicy joy. The Montevina Barbera pairs beautifully with a multitude of cuisines.

    Try pairing with a Manchego and fig cheese plate, or an artisan pizza with prosciutto and vodka sauce, topped with fresh basil.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Montevina

    Montevina Winery

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    Montevina Winery, Amador, Sierra Foothills, California
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    In the 1850's, Italian immigrants flocked to California's Sierra Nevada to prospect for gold. After the mines ran dry, many of these wine-loving fortune seekers became grape growers and vintners. In 1990, Montevina, the Sierra's flagship winery, began cultivating classic Italian grape varieties along with its hearalded Zinfandel in its 260-acre, organically farmed Amador County estate vineyards.

    As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.

    The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.

    Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.

    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 flavors of red cherry, raspberry or blackberry 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 unoaked—abound, at least in Piedmont. In fact, many Piemontese producers today still make a deliciously pure, fruity and unoaked 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’Uccellone revealed this grape's true potential. Many of the better bottlings of Piemontese Barbera can age gracefully for 10-15 years or more.

    PIN352587_2015 Item# 348464