Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2006 Palmina Barbera

When rotisserie chicken is on the menu, I usually reach for a Pinot Noir. But tonight I decided to shake it up a bit with a domestic Barbera. The 2006 Palmina Barbera, Santa Barbara County has a pretty garnet color and a rustic nose of sweet/tart raspberry, herbs de Provence, a hint of licorice and a touch of hickory wood. Sweet/tart raspberry and hickory follow through on the palate with assertive orange pith/citrus acidity; a trademark of the Barbera grape. No tannins to speak of. Enjoy now with something acidic (tomato sauce) or fatty to balance the acid as it's a bit tough to enjoy on its own. About $23

I really appreciate this winery for making traditionally Italian varietals with a California flair, while staying true to the grapes' roots. A lot of wineries in California take Italian Grapes like Barbera or Sangiovese and treat them like Cabernet or Merlot by over-extracting the fruit and aging the wine in 200% new oak. But Palmina tends to treat its Barbera, Dolcetto, Tocai, etc. with respect; allowing the wines to retain a lot of their natural acidity and character; making them very food-friendly. All the while keeping their prices very reasonable.

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