Brawny and a bit rowdy, this wine isn’t what you’d grab when you’re looking for elegant sophistication. But, it’s perfect for when you want a big wine that’s ready to sip. The intense, concentrated flavors, bathed in buoyant acidity, fill the palate with juicy red fruit. Think dried cherry, rhubarb, pomegranate and bright raspberry merged with traces of plum, blackberry, violet, caramel and earthy oak. So much going on in this hearty beast, but just sip away and enjoy!
Pair with your favorite robust cuisine, like a juicy rare steak served with garlic fries, or Mexican pork stew with fresh corn tortillas.
Long time Peterson wine devotees might fondly recall the original Peterson Barbera that we produced from 1994 through 1998. The grapes came from a small block of Barbera that I planted in 1989 on the “bench” overlooking our red barn winery on the Norton Ranch. Though we never produced much of this Barbera, it was a wine we loved to grow and make (as well as drink), and it developed a fervent following among our customers.
Over the last 19 years working with Alvin Tollini, I’ve come to respect his abilities as a grower and the suitability of his properties for producing intense, yet balanced red wines. When Alvin mentioned to me that he had a field on “Granddad’s Ranch” that he was ready to plant, I immediately thought of Barbera. I believed the site’s gravelly, well-drained red clay soil could produce a worthy successor to the Norton Ranch Barbera.
The 2014 is our sixth vintage from this block. As a 100% varietal from Tollini Vineyard, it truly showcases what the grape is capable of when grown in the right location. This wine hits the high notes, with power and depth behind it, and a purity and clarity one would expect from this ancient varietal. Salute!
Composition: 100% Barbera
Vineyard: Tollini Vineyard
Appellation: Redwood Valley, Mendocino County
Harvest Date: September 16, 2014
Barrel Aging: 22 months
Cooperage: 100% older neutral oak barrels
Bottling Date: August 3, 2016
(unfined & unfiltereed)
Production: 450 cases
Included in the Box
4x 2014 Peterson Winery Barbera, Tollini Vineyard, Mendocino County
12x 2014 Peterson Winery Barbera, Tollini Vineyard, Mendocino County
Peterson Winery has been producing wine in Dry Creek Valley for 30 years and, like most wineries in the Valley, produces Zinfandel as well as other wines. Yet a closer look shows that is where the similarities end.
Owner Fred Peterson is an iconoclast with an old world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable farming. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and vineyard—a philosophy they call Zero Manipulation—with low tech, yet high touch, to produce wines of a place, wines with soul. The evolution of Peterson wines and winemaking accelerated when Fred’s son Jamie became assistant winemaker in the summer of 2002. In 2006, after moving from the tiny red barn on Lytton Springs to Timber Crest Farms, Jamie was given the overall responsibilities as winemaker. As a winegrowing team, Fred and Jamie assess the grapes from each vineyard and vintage as the season progresses, evaluating how the weather, soil and site are interacting for the particular vintage. At Peterson winery, the winemaking process begins while the grapes are still on the vines. Zero Manipulation is a discipline the Petersons follow to capture the character and balance of inherent in the grapes. Zero Manipulation means using the most gentle, traditional winemaking practices possible to maximize the flavors, aromatics and texture of the wines. Fred and Jamie celebrate vintage differences and don’t tweak or homogenize the wine to obtain consistency of flavors, a common practice in mass-market wineries. For Fred and Jamie, Peterson Winery is all about the wines. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see the heart and soul that goes into every bottle.
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It’s a no-brainer. I had the pleasure of reviewing the last Barbera by this winemakers from this region. It was a ridiculous bargain. It came in 2nd at the 2019 WineSnob Blind Tasting. I’m in for 2 cases.
I see the label has changed. I think we can do even better.
@mrn1@winesnob The 2014 pairs better with self isolation!
In 2014 we were heading into the drought, and for some reason the acid in the grapes was lower than usual, even at a lower sugar, with smaller berries. Cold soak, fermentation time, and barrel aging were pretty similar. In 2014 we let the native yeast take off, where in 13 we inoculated with a couple different selections. So - lower alcohol, a little lower acidity (though still on the zippy side for Cali…), and I feel a little denser in both fruit and secondary earthier characters. Very similar to me here with both side by side. I just opened our very last bottle of the 2013 to compare since everyone here sucked up the last of that vintage.
@mrn1@Peterson_Winery sounds very promising. Right up my alley with natural yeast, lower alcohol and more intense characteristics. I have a few more 13’s left. I will have to do a side-by-side on my blog soon. Cheers!
@Peterson_Winery the new label is much more approachable. However I think we can come up with something that truly resonates with what’s in the bottle. Can I design your next label?.. For FREE??? I will perform focus group testing, etc to maximize brand perception and value/bottle.
@Boatman72@pjmartin See if family wants to steal of of your case ( I’m sure you never see any $ for the wine they get from your stash) If not a 3 way split is OK w/ me…I’m sure pjmartin will go along with whatever we decide.
So I was lucky enough to get the golden ticket for this wine and early enough to beat my new shelter in place order and was able to share this with two other people too.
My thoughts on the Peterson Barbera on first twist and pour, yup its a stelvin, that’s cool makes it really accessible. On first aroma there was a musty straw smell? On to the first taste, wow that’s tart! Like it blows out my mouth with acid, but not a tannic pucker. Whew better let it rest for a bit.
After an hour or so I tried it again and it was still really tart but I was able to get out a sour cherry flavor in it. The mid body never really developed and it was relatively neutral. Not flat like a lot of Italian chianti’s but with out the complexity of other red wines. The finish was again that bracing tartness though that was clean and didn’t linger.
I saved in for the next day do see if it’d change. It didn’t change much, maybe the tartness mellowed out a slight bit? Maybe I should have left the screw cap off?
My friend who has a similar palate as mine, though he prefers wine with more age then I do, wasn’t a fan and felt that the tartness was to overwhelming and didn’t go back to resample it. He also agreed on the musty barn, not brett, aroma though.
My wife who’s a neophyte taster thought she tasted some earth but wasn’t a huge fan.
The final consensus was that this felt like a good value Italian restaurant carafe wine. The tartness would cut though the heavy cheese or alfredo sauces and would be able to stand up to tomato flavors. I’m afraid it wasn’t for me but I see above that there are taster who love it and I am glad for that.
@sndg same here. That switch to UPS really took the wind out of my sails. They are literally the worst delivery service for wine. I would pay more to switch back to FedEx and I would likely buy more cases. Casemates needs to fix that.
@sndg and that’s after they drive around town with your wine in the truck all day long in the summer heat. They’ll do it 4 times before letting you pick it up or make alternate plans which I have never been able to do with them. It’s so infuriating. I would have passed on this deal if I wasn’t working from home due to COVID19.
@ejrunion Yes, only 1 Lab Rat for this offer. I know, such great comments. Wished I had tried it but then would not have had one for a LR. For what it’s worth, I can let you know that sales are trending toward the positive. Not like toilet paper is trending but it’s there.
I’m also working from home so don’t need to worry about crappy UPS service (even though I have a wine club shipment being held hostage by UPS). But I’m in Los Angeles near LAX and am buying a case. If anyone in LA wants in, let me know. You will have to pick up at my place but I am willing to share.
OK, so how do I get cases of wine from UPS after they have tried delivery three times (even though I stayed home through the expected delivery times…)? As much as I would like to order this wine, I haven’t received the last three cases I ordered, and since I am only home one day per week (at best) even during this stay at home business, I am leery of risking any more money.
@gillisr Bummer, what happened to the last 3 cases? UPS can hold it for you at their local Customer Service facility for 5 days and you can pick it up. Or call UPS directly and work out an arrangement. Some areas are more cust. serv. friendly than others.
@WCCWineGirl Thanks for replying. The UPS ticket said the items would be returned to the vendor. I have no way of picking things up during the week (providing medical care for my son with physical disabilities while he is at college–he and I are stuck there during the all the quarantine stuff, too). And, they didn’t show up when they said they would.
@gillisr Unfortunately you have to call UPS. I did that yesterday with a wine delivery that I paid to get rescheduled. Of course they missed the day and it was still showing “pending redelivery”. I was on hold for 30 minutes but the customer service person called the warehouse. They got back to me today (at the time they said the would!) and it sounds like it is being routed to me now. I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t call.