Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Usually I drink beer with pizza, or maybe a soft, easygoing Southern Italian red. Seeing Unti's 2007 Barbera on the by-the-glass list at Pizza Diavola in Geyserville, just a few miles from the vineyard and winery in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley, made me flash back to my early days of wine drinking. Then Sebastiani's Barbera was a regular choice for me. But you don't see too many well-made California Barberas these days. So, despite the Northern Italian ancestry of the grape, I went for a glass.
It's bright and zingy, and it made my mouth water with refreshing acidity as it rolled over my tongue like a silk scarf. The flavors center on raspberry and mulberry, with hints of smoky roasting meat weaving through the finish. 89 points, non-blind. The restaurant had it at $10 a glass. The winery sells it for $26 a bottle.
The winery's website says the grapes come from a 2-acre vineyard on the winery's ranch, planted with close spacing (4 feet by 6 feet) in the coolest part of the vineyard. Charmingly, the site doesn't give the yield in the typical tons per acre but as "4 to 5 pounds per vine." By my calculations, that's about 4 tons per acre. Either way, it has plenty of flavor and zest, and it cut right through the richness of Diavola's signature pizza of prosciutto and mascarpone.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered