Last week we tasted the 2009 Sonoma Valley Barbera – that was one of my mother’s favorite varietals. It’s amazing! The key to a beautiful Barbera is to bring out the richness in the fruit to balance the acidity. And that same acidity is what gives the wine such nice structure and makes it so easy and fun to match up with all kinds of food, like pizza, pasta, grilled poultry and meats.
The Sonoma Valley Barbera vineyard is special to me. It’s a very small block, only three acres. The wood that we grafted for these vines is from an old, old vineyard, about 100 years old! Even though it’s not considered “Old Vine” because it’s planted on new rootstock, it has the character and complex mouthfeel of an “Old Vine” Barbera.
This wine is a beauty. Bold dark fruit with lovely aromatic undertones of vanilla and rose petals make for a gorgeous nose. On first sip, you notice the silky mouthfeel and then the bold black cherry, chocolate, cola undercurrents and mild black licorice. On the finish, lingering black plum so delicious it’s almost like biting into a piece of fruit. This wine is so layered with flavor, and the acidity is so perfectly balanced by the rich fruit, it will pair with almost any Italian dish. My favorite is classic Italian lasagna. There’s nothing better for lunch than a good old plate of Mom’s lasagna and a glass of our Sonoma Valley Barbera.