Barbera gets a west coast perspective.
Let's start here; we fucking love Barbera. This Italian variety has been one of our biggest muses in blends over the past couple of years, so we decided to commit and make an entire barrel-select bottling of it. One of the coolest things about Barbera is its mellow tannins and higher acidity. This balance makes it taste juicy and rich, even though the wines are usually lighter and more elegant in body. We'll come back to that.
Now you know us, we couldn't just source any Barbera, we had to get the best Barbera fruit in the galaxy. So we hit up our dear friend Ann Kramer and pleaded with her for some fruit from her legendary Shake Ridge Ranch in Amador County. Sitting nearly 1,800 feet in elevation amongst the Sierra Foothills, this sustainably-farmed vineyard is rooted in ancient volcanic soils and is notable for its multi-clonal plantings of Barbera, which is rare.
Our winemaking approach for this one was pretty simple...don't fuck it up. Bertus and the crew wanted to preserve all the contrasting elements we think make Barbera so fun. The dark color and lighter body. The higher acidity, and lower tannins. The juicy flavors and the tart. The tension between all these complementary characteristics makes for great Barbera.
And that's what we got. A wine that's beautifully rich and dark in color, with a light, but smooth mouthfeel. In your mouth, it unloads ripe cherry, strawberry, and violet goodness complemented by vanilla, herbs, spice, and minerality. It's just so damn juicy and hard to stop drinking.
When we talk about having a west coast perspective, we're really borrowing a philosophy of our good friend and artist, Frank Maddocks. In his case, he talks about the feel of Los Angeles. A juxtaposition between glamorous and dirty, bougie and street, sexy and dangerous. These competing elements are exciting to us, and something we find in Barbera.
For the label, we worked with acclaimed album cover artist Frank Maddocks to capture a gritty image we definitely think has a west coast perspective.