2012 Barbera

Appellation: Clements Hills

Vineyard: Lewis Ranch –The Vineyard lies at the very eastern edge of the Clement Hills AVA which is located within the SE corner of the Lodi appellation. The Vineyard is slightly higher in elevation and slopes down into the Mokelumne River. Clements Hills is characterized by rolling hills that emerge out of the San Juaquin Valley to form the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Clements Hills is distinguished by having different soils (loam and clay on top of granite and volcanic) with less vigor and is generally warmer with cooler nights and more rainfall than the West side of Lodi. The vines are approximately 15 years old and trellised. Lewis Ranch subscribes to the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.

Vintage: 2012 was an excellent growing year in Lodi & Clement Hills. In general conditions were almost ideal with a mild spring producing good fruit set. This was followed by a fairly long, warm summer with no rain and only one heat spike in September. Combined with a dry October this allowed grapes to ripen more gradually resulting in excellent quality throughout the region. Overall grape yields were normal to somewhat larger than normal.

Composition: 100% Barbera

Vinification: Grapes were hand sorted, de-stemmed and transferred to 1 ton open bins where it cold-soaked for about 2-3 days before it began primary fermentation with native or naturally occurring yeast from the vineyard. The must was punched down by hand 2-3 times a day. The wine was aged, with minimal racking, in a mixture of mostly neutral French and American oak barrels for about 18 months.

Tasting Notes: Medium garnet in color with blackberry and black cherry aromas along with hints of violets, cloves and a bit of anise. Black fruit and plum flavors on the palate with light tannins, bright acidity and a medium plus mouthfeel balance this wine with a lingering finish. Try with tomato sauced dishes such as lamb ragu with paparadelle, pizzas, burgers with mushrooms or cheeses such as Reblochon, Tome, Gorgonzola or Piave.