2013SerafinaBarb2013 Serafina Cellars, Barbera, Amador County.
The Serafina Barbera from the Sierra Foothills is a juicy richly textured and fruit driven wine with layers of black and red fruits along with some soft spice and cedary wood. Paul Scotto, head of winemaking for the family business, Scotto Cellars overseeing winemaking for about 40 labels, as well as the Cider Brothers small batch craft fruit ciders and a new dry Mead (honey wine) project, but he makes the Serafina as his own project from top sites in the foothills, this is his own personal artisan line of small production wines. Paul, a UC Davis grad, does mostly Zinfandel, but also has a crisp Pinot Grigio and this Barbera, he focuses on Italian based varietals, as well as a few Rhones, and while Zin is from Croatia, the heritage in California has Italian roots as does he, being a 5th generation winemaker, plus there is the Primitivo clone. The Barbera is bright with a garnet/ruby hue, the long hang time allows for a more low acid plush mouth feel with plum, raspberry and black cherry fruits filling out the palate with ultra fine tannins, subtle spice, mineral/earth notes and a touch of oak, finishing with dried flowers, vanilla, anise, currant and briar. Barbera from the hills of California’s gold country does not taste like the classic Piedmonte versions, but this one is a really fun, open knit and stylish wine, Scotto sourced the Barbera from the famed Fiddletown, where some of the vines date back to the late 1800’s, along with a dash of Primitivo (Zin) which always shows through and works nicely here. There is a sweetness of fruit that makes this wine sing, and the neutral French barrels don’t over do what the vines gave, this velvety all California red is ready to enjoy now and is especially good with rustic/simple cuisine, it is crowd pleaser to drink over the next 2 to 3 years.
($25 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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