2009 Montevina Amador County Barbera is sourced from Estate vineyards and contract growers in Amador County, California. Barbera is the 6th most planted red grape in California and Montevina Winery has been growing and producing Barbera since the 1970s. Barbera was the 2nd most planted grape in Italy, until 1985, when some unscrupulous winemakers added Methanol to the wine (a component of Formaldehyde) killing several dozen Italian wine lovers. Barbera has rebounded in recent years and is now the 3rd most planted grape in Italy. If you don’t see many bottles of Barbera on wine shop shelves, it is because the memory of that fiasco is just now starting to fade. This Barbera was hand picked (no factory wine here) and aged in small oak barrels and large oak tanks for 14 months. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
The color is black cherry red in the center that grows progressively clear as it reaches the sides of the glass. The nose is red fruit and spice, red plum and raspberry, followed by Altoids spice and gumdrops candy. This is a medium bodied, but full flavored wine. It starts with a mix of strawberry and blueberry, then cherry cola and herbal tea. Rich and juicy upfront, and then very dry on the mid palate. The mid palate adds tart sour pomegranate, a dry sensation from the oak (but no oak taste, it is not over oaked) and a late hit of fizzy cherry jam. There are some jammy fruit flavors here, but there are enough other tastes in the mix, that you really cannot describe this as a jammy wine. There is thread of balanced acidity that runs thru out this Barbera and the tannins are there, but they give structure and add balance. The finish starts off strong, quickly fades, but does hang on for a decent amount of time.
The Montevina Barbera is extremely solid, good tasting, well made, fun and more complicated than any wine selling for a buck or two, either way of ten bucks, should be. More than enough flavor, acidity and structure to make this a really good wine to pair with all but the heaviest of meals. Plus there is a minor flavor & texture riot happening in your mouth, which makes the Montevina a first class bottle to share with friends.