Preston Vineyards Barbera 2021

2021 was a dry year with early budbreak and delightfully non-eventful weather. Harvest began in late August and proceeded at a steady, manageable rhythm; the Barbera was picked toward the back end of the season in mid-September. Half of the fruit was crushed under foot in tank as whole bunches, and the other half de-stemmed and pumped to the same tank. After a 2 week fermentation the wine was pressed off and aged in neutral oak vessels of various sizes ranging from 60 to 540 gallons. We like the smaller ones (standard 60 gallon barrels) for their higher exposure to oxygen which invites complexity and sophistication, but rely on a large portion of the wine being aged in bigger vessels to preserve freshness and aromatic purity.
Barbera is one of our more vintage-dependent varietals and, fortunately, 2021 proved to be a great one. The wine shows focused aromatics of black and red cherry, with notes of red licorice and vanilla bean. Vibrant and juicy in the mouth with loads of berry, just-ripe plum, and hints of spiced orange. This stellar vintage has produced a wine with dense structure, although buoyed by plenty of its trademark acidity it begs for hearty fare and is always the star of the show when Lou cooks pizza at our pick-up parties. -GH

Grapes are certified organic (CCOF). Fermentation is initiated spontaneously without the addition of commercial yeast or malolactic bacteria.