Winemaker Derek Rohlffs checking in to share some funky facts about one of the under-appreciated grape varieties in my Funky Town Red Blend [thanks to Wine Folly].
Barbera: The Wine Italy Never Talks About
Barbera has long filled-in the low slopes and valleys of Northern Italy. It’s considered a lesser wine to Nebbiolo and, therefore, doesn’t earn the best grape-growing real estate (such as South-facing slopes on hills above the ‘nebbia’ or fog). Despite its lowly position, Barbera is the quintessential ‘wine of the people,’ it’s meant to be enjoyed young!
Discover this unique little grape and never again feel like you have to revert to ‘Chianti’ when looking for a great valued Italian wine.
Barbera Wine Profile
FRUIT: Dark Cherry, Dried Strawberry, Plum, Blackberry
OTHER: Violet, Lavender, Dried Leaves, Incense, Vanilla, Nutmeg, Anise
OAK: Yes. Large neutral oak casks.
AGEABILITY: Traditionally enjoyed within 2-4 years.
SYNONYMS & REGIONAL NAMES:
Barbare, Barbera d’Alba, Barbera d’Aosta, Barbera Sarda, Barbera d’Asti, Barbera del Monferrato
Barbera Wine Regions
62,900 acres worldwide (25,454 hectares)
Italy (52,600 acres) Alba, Aosta, Asti, Monferrato, Puglia, Sardinia
United States (~7,000 acres) Sierra Foothills, Central Valley, Santa Barbara
Australia (~2,000 acres) Mudgee, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills
Argentina (~1,300 acres) San Juan, Mendoza
The Taste of Barbera Wine
Mish-Mash Flavor Somehow Barbera wine tastes both rich and light-bodied. Why is that? Well, one reason is that it has dark staining pigments that dye the wine to near-black. However, the taste of Barbera has notes of strawberry and sour cherry: flavors synonymous with light-bodied wines. Light tannin and high acidity make it taste ‘Juicy’.
Hope you learned a thing or two. And thanks for your support of my Funky Town wines!
Thanks for jumping on board! Been eyeing this for a few days. What is the actual percentage of each grape in the blend? Cooperage-new vs neutral? Case production? Thanks!
Hi losthighwayz, thanks for your question. Here’s more info: Wine
Funkytown Red Wine is made from a mix of uncommon and underappreciated red grape varietals. This unique blend includes Barbera, Petite Sirah, and Carignane. The Barbera is the largest constituent at 58%, with the Petite Sirah and Carginane combining to form another 37% of the blend.
Harvest Conditions: The 2012 growing season allowed for the development of balanced fruit. Most of the fruit for this wine is sourced from North Coast vineyards, with grapes grown in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. In addition, we include a small amount of Barbera fruit from a vineyard in the Sierra Foothills, which imparts an earthy, rustic edge to the ripe fruit flavors in this wine.
Fermentation & Aging: Hand-harvested fruit was fermented in small lots and pressed into French and Hungarian oak barrels - only 20% new - to build complexity. Most of the fermentations were spontaneous and followed a 5 to 7 day cold soak. After sixteen months of aging, the wine was blended and then bottled three months later. Only 224 cases produced.
Food Pairings: This medium-bodied, balanced wine compliments pizza and pasta dishes, BBQ, meat dishes, and Italian food.