Scott Harvey is one of my favorite Sierra Foothills producers. He makes some great Zins and I remember being impressed by his Barberas in the past. Recently I acquired his 2007 Amador County J&S Reserve Barbera and was excited to open it. But unfortunately it tasted just like Zinfandel.
Scott Harvey J&S Reserve 2007 Barbera. Amador County, California. Initially this wine smelled just like strawberry jam and boysenberry syrup. It seemed hotter than the printed 14.5% alcohol. Some autumn spice was able to show through the jammy flavors. The berry pie bouquet evolved a little to show some minty and earthy characteristics. I have to admit it did uphold some tell-tale Barbera acidity. Unfortunately this wine goes for $30/bottle.
The next night I tried some of what was left in the bottle hoping something miraculous might have occurred overnight. But I was disappointed. So figured why not open up the Fontanafreddo Briccotondo 2008 Barbera I recently picked up for $10.99? There wasn’t much to lose.
Fontanafredda Briccotondo 2008 Barbera Piemonte DOC. Imagine sitting on top of a pile of saddles in a horse stable where, in a connected kitchen, someone is baking a cherry–vanilla pie. Then that person brings the pie to you, you dig in with a spoon and they light a fire in the fireplace. That’s how this wine evolves in just a few minutes. The sweet red berry fruit is balanced by acidity and leaves you with a refreshing finish of lime, strawberry, licorice and cedar. This one comes in at 13.5% alcohol. ★ (Given the value, this gets a whole star.)
You can find the Briccotondo at Cost Plus and K&L.
Also recently I was fortunate to get a hold of some just-released southern Oregon Dolcetto…
Abacela Fault Line Vineyards 2007 Dolcetto. Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon. Dark red cherry color with a transparent magenta rim. Aromas of orange peel, clove, raisins soaked in rum and brown sugar. Fruity and overpowering tannins on the first taste, opening over time to mellow tannins and a more pronounced citrus flavor, like limes. Overall, while not exactly what I prefer in a Dolcetto, it still offered some interesting aspects and a fairly entertaining evolution. An excellent accompaniment to pizza Margherita. ($20) ☆
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