The woods-roaming, rabble-rousing, debaucherous faunus; the spirit animal of this 100% Barbera pays tribute to our shared Italian heritage. This vineyard in the forested hills of Mendocino shows the best of Barbera. A more recent addition to the Tollini Vineyard lineup, first harvested in 2009. It is farmed sustainably with a commitment to the land. Lively and upfront, with all the attitude befitting a wild woodland creature.
The depth and intensity start with the nose as
concentrated spicy aromatics of vine ripened
blackberry and a brambly herbal quality appear. The
focused intensity repeats on the palate where savory
spices weave through black cherry, huckleberry, black
raspberry, plum and pomegranate, while traces of dried
sage and oolong tea enhance the wine’s depth. Robust
yet so drinkable, this brawny beast will soon be a go-to
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 20-plus 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 2019 is our tenth 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!
Food Pairing Notes
Delicious with a grilled skirt steak with pesto butter
and fresh gnocchi, or braised lamb shanks with fresh
rosemary served with oven-roasted baby red potatoes.