Some new wines to check out...
Some new wines to check out...

Varietal of the Month

5 bottles of Barbera in a plie of Fall leaves
Barbera: Prince of Darkness, Goddess of Light—well not exactly, but Barbera is characteristically dark in color and light in taste. It’s a fairy tale of red and black berry flavors with high acidity, relatively low tannins, and a spicy finish. A charming and quaffable Italian varietal, Barbera pairs well with braised meats and roasted vegetable dishes.

Here are capsule reviews of Barbera you may find along the Wine Road.
Carol Shelton
Carol Shelton 2022 Barbera D'Oakley

The Carol Shelton 2022 Barbera D’ Oakley hails from the 130-year-old Planchon Vineyard in Contra Costa County, co-planted with Zinfandel and Merlot. In the glass it’s medium garnet in color. On the nose a light scent of violets, blackberry, vanilla and touch of earthy nutmeg. On the palate, a tangy juicy punch of flavor full of pomegranate and black cherry with a grounding notes of thyme and peppercorn. The blend of Zinfandel and Merlot give this Barbera a fine balance with a bright yet plush mouthfeel and notes of Santa Rosa along with black pepper and blackberry on the long spicy finish. Pair with cheesy sausage and pepper pizza.

ABV 13.5%
$ 30 (Shop Here)
Colagrossi Wines
Colagrossi Wines 2019 Barbera, Moon Mountain

The Colagrossi 2019 Barbera from Moon Mountain in Sonoma County has all the earmarks of a classic. Dark ruby color with a magnificent nose of mocha, rose petals, anise, and blackberry. On the palate, a plush mouthfeel with blackberry, dark cherry, fig, plum and sweet tobacco. Fresh acidity and textbook Barbera structure carry the dark fruit flavors smoothly forward with a spicy pepper and clove spiked finish. From first sniff to last sip it’s a pleasure. Enjoy with pumpkin sage ravioli.
ABV 14.7%
$ 40 (Shop Here)
D'Argenzio Winery
D'Argenzio Winery 2018 Barbera Di Niccolo'

The D’Argenzio 2018 Barbera Di Niccolo from Sonoma Mountain is deep purple in color with a light garnet rim. On the nose, light scent of pomegranate, anise, and cherry. On the palate the flavors are tart and juicy with notes of dried strawberry, blackberry, cranberry, tart cherry and fleshy dark plum. Silky, bright finish with a satisfying minty-fennel endnote. Pair with Eggplant Parmigianino.

ABV 13.5%
$ 38 (Shop Here)
Orsi Family Vineyards
Orsi Family Vineyards 2021 Barbera, Dry Creek Valley
The Orsi Family 2021 Barbera has a medium purple hue with a slight blue tinge at the rim. On the nose, fleshy black cherry, plum and garrigue (costal aromatic herbs: think mint and sage). On the palate, it builds steadily with flavors of dried strawberry, sour cherry, cranberry, and black pepper. With time in the glass it comes alive with a juicy vibrancy that carries though to the bright spicy finish. Pair with classic Spaghetti and Meatballs or Chicken Cacciatore.
ABV 13.9%
$44 (Shop Here)
Peterson Winery
Peterson Winery 2019 Tollini Vineyard Barbera

Right on the label the Peterson Winery 2019 Barbera from Tollini Vineyard declares the wine possesses the spirit of a “wild woodland creature”—indeed the simile is apt. With it’s dark color and bright flavor it’s a wily but approachable Barbera. On the nose, deep earthy notes of garrigue, licorice, ripe blackberry, and mocha. On the palate, notes of tangy tart cherry with a medley of thyme, marjoram, and blackberry brambles. A plush mouth feel with soft tannins that deliver secondary flavors of fig and plum, boysenberry and slate. Balanced and beautiful. Pair with Rabbit Ragu over Pappardelle.

ABV 16.3% 
$24 (Shop Here)

Posted by Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance wine and travel writer. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Wine Enthusiast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma Magazine, The California Travel Guide, and Forbes Travel Guide. In 2017 she was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. She is the co-host of the award winning Wine Road Podcast.
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