Happy Wine Wednesday! While the most well-loved Barberas come from Piedmont, this Shenandoah Valley one may just pique your interest: a little fruit, a little old-world style. Get ready to be surprised!
Amador County, just 100 miles east of San Francisco and Napa Valley, is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is also known as one of the main Gold Rush areas with many of the earliest vines planted by miners! While the days are fairly warm and sunny, the nightly cool breezes coming from the mountains allow the grapes to achieve that rich, acidic quality. Primarily known for its big and bold old-vine Zinfandels, Amador County is branching out to other varietals like the Italian Barbera, French Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.
That ripe California fruit is immediately apparent on the nose of this 2010 Barbera with deep scents of cherry and warm spices. Light in style, it’s both tangy and spicy with long, sultry smoky and toasty flavors. That tangy, acidic quality lends to perfect pairings with tomato sauces and pizza dishes. But this is still light enough to drink on its own. A bite of chocolate wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Sustainably-farmed Sobon Estate is one of the first four wineries in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley appellation and has been established as a state landmark. Widely distributed throughout the United States, their Zinfandels repeatedly win gold medals. Take a chance on this fantastic California Barbera. At $13, it’s a steal…and a lot cheaper than a trip to Italy. Enjoy!
Photo courtesy of Amador Vintners. Photographer, Krista Glavich