High Valley Vineyard Barbera (4)

High Valley Vineyard Barbera 4-Pack
Sold by: Shannon Ridge Inc
$64.99 $132.00 51% off List Price
2013 High Valley Vineyard Barbera, High Valley, Lake County


Wow! I was completely surprised and a bit anxious when I received the email informing me that I had received the Golden Ticket! I was to be a Lab Rat (aka, the Grape Debater) for today’s offering, 2013 Hidden Valley Barbera! Woo hoo!!! Free wine! Well, not exactly free.

Bottle arrived Tuesday around 1PM and forced myself to wait until 7PM before opening.

7PM Opened bottle and poured 1/4 glass just to get initial reaction:

  • Eyes: Wow! The color is mesmerizing! Bright ruby red and crystal clear! Not as dark and foreboding as a Syrah or Cab, but redder and brighter than a Merlot. Beautiful color. Mouth watering just from the looks.
  • Nose: I’m not really good at picking out the odors, but after a several deep snorts, I started to think of caramel and vanilla and and smoke dried cherries.
  • Mouth: I haven’t had Barbera for a while and my initial reaction was…smooth! No hint of heat or tartness. Medium body. Not heavy/gritty as a Cab, but also not light like/airy a Pinot. Just a nice smooth finish with a nice caramel/vanilla/fruity after taste.


  • Poured another 1/4 glass to taste. About the same as the initial taste.
  • Put through the Venturi and still the same. Maybe a bit more robust. Still very smooth, blended taste. Nothing stands out as being particularly strong.
  • Long, thin legs on the glass
  • Flavor lingers on the back, outer sides of the tongue. If you let it sit on your tongue, you start to taste the spice.


  • Another 1/4 glass with some spicy, asiago chicken fennel sausage. Very nice complement. Brought out the spiciness in the sausage. I’m learning how to drink it and letting it linger in my mouth longer to get the spicy/smoky after taste.

Day 2 with grilled teriyaki flank steak. Didn’t pair as well with this as with the spicy fennel sausage, but still very good. Not much change from Day 1.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this wine. Not sure I’d pay $28/bottle (suggested retail price on their web site), but I’m a cheapskate when it comes to wine. However, for Barbera, I think this is a great value. I’ll probably start buying more Barberas now after tasting this wine. It’s a nice drinking wine. Based upon the color and clarity and smooth finish, I’d say it’s ready to drink now.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge with me over the past 10 years. Hopefully, this will help you in your purchase decision.


Solid notes, dude.

Wish this shipped to GA

Love Barbera, but they don’t ship to my state or my two backup states. Sheesh.

Great write-up, so how was it not exactly free?

If you’ve not yet done rattage, you’ve not yet paid your dues, and time isn’t free either. These don’t just ‘happen’.

For whatever it’s worth, Barbera is my go to red wine pairing for Ghobi Manchurian from our local Indian restaurant. They use a lot of star anise in their dish, which has the distinctive flavor of anethole similar to fennel. I find it to be a wonderful pairing and would suggest it to anybody.

Hmmm. Shipping to 18 of 50 states. Why bother?

you need to start somewhere…if I were buying currently I would so be in on this…love trying Barbara from CA

You are correct, I have not, but would love to get the opportunity.

I thought that he was more being funny that this now had him make a purchase that he was otherwise going to pass on.

Didn’t intend to sound like I was throwing sharp objects…

I’ve ratted a few offers, don’t by any means purchase all of them, or even most, but there certainly have been a few I’d not have grabbed had I not had the opportunity.

I thought maybe you hadn’t had your Frosted Flakes and coffee yet.

Looks like a nice offer. Lake county wines always look interesting.

I too like the Barbera. The Scott Harvey was very enjoyable, from a previous deal. Going to try this out!

All GD community tasting notes for this wine have been x-posted into cellar tracker, user names have been omitted to protect the guilty.