This is a particularly well balanced vintage, combining ripe, concentrated fruit and a supple
texture with the firm, crisp acidity inherent in Barbera.
Inviting dark cherry, blackberry and coffee
aromas lead to bright, ripe, mouth-filling plum, berry and
black cherry flavors with hints of spice, and a touch
of almond and chocolate. The balance and acidity
make it a versatile wine for a wide range of foods.
vineyard is in Wooden Valley, in the southeastern
part of the Napa Valley appellation, on benchland
near two streams. It mainly produces high quality
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but a block of Barbera
represents an inspired match of climate and clone.
main Barbera clone has small, loose clusters and small
berries, in sharp contrast to much of the Barbera
grown in California, which typically has much larger
clusters and berries. The clone is so obscure
it doesn't have a formal name that we know, so we
refer to it with the name of the UC Davis professor
who maintained it. What we do know is that
its grapes translate into consistently deep color
The 2009 harvest was in early October. The berries developed at a steady, even rate, leading to a good balance of berry maturity, sugar, and Barbera's classic acidity. The berries were small, intense
and flavorful, and the balance is reflected in the wine.