2018 Giornata, Barbera, Paso Robles.
The wonderfully bright and vibrant Giornata Barbera is a magenta/purple and ruby hued wine that delivers a juicy fresh palate of dark red fruits and crunchy acidity making it a great companion to cuisine and like a Cru Beaujolais really turns on the charm with a slight chill on it, allowing it to go along with a variety of foods and Summer time. While I’ve enjoyed the more serious Giornata Nebbiolo a few times in the past this is my first experience with their fun and zesty Barbera, and I am now a huge fan and hooked on this stuff. Giornata, based in Paso Robles’ Tin City complex, produce a wonderful set of Italian-varietal wines from vineyards that the winery farms in Paso Robles region, mostly on the west side, using traditional, old-world winemaking techniques including wines made from their signature Luna Matta Vineyard using a mix of intriguing grapes from Fiano and Falanghina as well as Pinot Grigio in their white wines along with the Mentioned Nebbiolo and Barbera plus Sangiovese and Aglianico in their pure Italian style reds as well as a mix of international varietals for a Super Tuscan blend. Barbera, as the winery notes, satisfies much of northern Italy’s thirst for a delicious daily drinker, especially in Piedmonte where it is most famous, in particular in the wines by La Spinetta, Braida and Vajra, but it is also grown and makes for tasty wine in Emilia-Romagna and forms a base in La Stoppa’s all natural reds. Giornata’s vivid and refreshing Barbera sees a cool fermentation in large-format oak casks and stainless steel and ages for only a few brief months before early spring bottling to preserve its vitality, aromatics and zippy nature.
Giornata is the creation of the husband and wife team of Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi and are inspired by the great wines of Italy along with Cal-Ital stars like Steve Clifton, former partner in the famed Brewer-Clifton, who makes the Palmina wines in Santa Barbera County, who in fact convinced him to keep pursuing his dream in making Nebbiolo in California. Stephanie who has a diverse background in wine and service got a degree from Fresno in Enology and Plant Science is overseeing the vines for Giornata and has recently planted a new estate vineyard as well as making the wines and vineyards at her own Broadside label. Brian who got his start at Rosenblum has also traveled to Italy to work with the famous Paolo DeMarchi at Isole e Olena in Tuscany, where he was able gain valuable experience with Italian grapes with a top producer, he is now also experimenting with traditional and ancient winemaking methods and techniques including the use of Amphora in the maceration and fermenting of many of his wines, including his very cool skin contact “Ramato” Pinot Grigio. This 2018 Barbera shines in the glass and entices in the mouth with layers of vine picked berries, plum, strawberry and black cherry fruits along with hints of violets, sweet fennel, racy herbs, mineral tones and stony/dusty spices all wrapped up in a zesty package with a silky medium body making for a super fun wine. This entertaining and easy quaffing red is a quintessential new generation California wine that takes its inspiration from the old world, but shows the state’s warmth of fruit and local character, including the chalky limestone soils here, to become something unique into itself, be sure to check out these Giornata offerings, especially this one.
($25 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive