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Montevina Winery Barbera
Amador County 2009

Sometimes you find one of those wines that you’ve heard so many good things about and you get excited to taste it for the first time (Barbera being one of my favorite varietals) – only to be let down that it wasn’t all you thought it would be. Well, this wine was one of those times for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to write a “bad review” on this wine; but in trying it, I will be honest in MY assessment of it. (Remember, it’s a matter of taste.)

Montevina Winery is located in Plymouth, CA which is in the Sierra Foothills of Northern CA.
With day heat & hot sun much like that of northern Napa or Calistoga, combined with cool night breezes off the Sierra Nevada’s, it makes for some prime, grape-growing real estate – Barbera being one of those grapes.
Barbera, originates from Italy and has only in recent years picked up in popularity here in the states. Many great California Barbera wines come out of the Sierra Foothill growing region.

I had been informed by several “everyday wine drinkers”, some in the wine business, many not – that this was a great Barbera for the price – (I found at Target for $7.99*). I knew that Montevina Winery is owned by parent company Terra d’ Oro. They make many wines that are very good – Montevina being their lower price point label and with all the possibility it had, I gave it a swirl!

The visual on this wine was dark red with a bit of crimson color – great clarity. The nose had a hint of berry and smoke, but only after you really aerate the wine – then it only lasted a moment in the glass.
(Swirl vigorously!) The taste – well in a nutshell for me– Flat. There was a little berry hint up front but it quickly fades. The wine had no body or viscosity to it at all. It was what I call very “thin”. There was a decent smoke on the finish – but unfortunately the tannin structure seemed to keep the finish very short lived.

All that said, I give this wine a “TWO BOTTLE” rating. I wouldn’t say that Montevina Barbera was a bad wine, it’s not at all – it’s just not the “style” of Barbera that “I” prefer. I think that is what makes wine really amazing and such fun! What one person tastes from the same bottle can be an entirely different taste experience for another – not many things in life are this versatile.


* you can find this wine at many retailers and dot com’s – also directly from the winery @ http://www.montevina.com