Dry Creek Valley
SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
11 MONTHS FRENCH OAK BARRELS 20% NEW
We now have 6 acres of Barbera planted in two blocks, located on our winery ranch. Our 2015 comes from clone CVT 171 from Piemonte, planted on a low vigor root-stock called 420-A. Our original Barbera block was planted in 1998, and we subsequently planted 4 more acres gradually since then. Barbera generally ripens in late September here in Dry Creek. It retains remarkably high levels of acidity at maximum sugar ripeness.
2015 was an excellent vintage for us. The much-publicized drought conditions of 2015 created a warm, dry, summer, followed by good, albeit hot weather at harvest. The yields were extremely low resulting in an early harvest. We harvested our Barbera September 10th, at 26.3 degree brix, with high acidity. 2015 will best be remembered for producing dark, intensely fruity wines with the kind of acidity one normally only finds in Italian Barbera.
This 2015 vintage is one of the most concentrated and full-bodied Barberas we have ever made. It possesses deep color, exotic fruit, spice and floral aromas, with a juicy mouth-feel from solid acidity. While Barbera is all about fruit and acidity, this 2015 has the depth to age gracefully for a couple more years.
Our approach to making Barbera is pretty straightforward. The grapes were de-stemmed and pumped through a peristaltic pump into both open and closed stainless steel and concrete tanks. After a five-day cold soak, the fermentation started naturally with indigenous yeasts. The wine was pressed at dryness. We age our Barbera for 10 -11 months in French Burgundy barrels, about 20% new. Using small, new barrels for aging Barbera provides tannin and texture.