2007 Downhill Cellars Susannah’s Barbera
Shenandoah Valley, CA
I sampled this wine during the April Passport Day put on by the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Growers’ Association, which I blogged about last month. Downhill Cellars only does tastings on Passport Days, so it was a rare treat, and one good enough that I ended up taking home two different types of wine. For me, that’s practically finding a treasure trove—I rarely take home more than one bottle from a tasting. I swear I’m not lying when I say I’m a drinker, not a collector.
This barbera’s nose is delicious: golden raisins, light brown sugar, ripe cherry, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is even more layered, recalling jasmine at first sip, which segues into brown sugar with cherry and date and fig notes. It tastes like an unsulphured wine with fresh, bold flavors, though it has more character than they do, likely because it’s aged and unsulphured wines are often recommended to be consumed sooner rather than later. Vanilla finishes off the swish, joined by lingering dried apricot.
This wine straddles the dessert line for me because it’s so juicy and fairly sweet. It leaves me thinking of dried fruits that have some moisture left when you bite into them, and it’s an interesting smorgasbord of those fruits. Definitely worth the drinking.by