2010 Palmina Santa Barbara County Barbera

SKU #1093186 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Vivid ruby. Heady, flamboyantly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red fruits, potpourri and anise, with a spicy overtone. Silky, palate-caressing raspberry and cherry flavors show impressive vivacity and become spicier with air. Shows excellent clarity and power on the finish, which is all about sappy red fruits and flowers. This wine's nose alone is worth the price of admission.  (11/2012)

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Palmina's 2010 Barbera is just gorgeous. Expressive red berries literally burst from the glass as this juicy Barbera shows off its considerable appeal. Perfumed notes are woven throughout, adding lift and finesse, yet this remains a sensual, fruit-driven Barbera. Ideally, the 2010 is best enjoyed over the next few years, while the fruit is retains its juiciness. Steve Clifton gave the Barbera seven months in neutral French oak barrels followed by a year in large cask. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

There are few wineries stateside who manage to do Italian varietals justice in the way that Steve Clifton of Palmina does. Fans of Italian wine know and love Barbera for its bright fruit, food-friendliness (it's heaven with pizza) and immediate accessibility, and Palmina's version of the varietal hits most of the same notes. Blackberry, mulberry, cranberry, cherry and young fig notes are supported by black tea, earth and a little bit of toast. Spicy accents of orange peel, white pepper, violet, and mocha carry through to the finish. The 2010 is a blend of fruit from four estate vineyards in three cool climate zones: the Alisos Vineyard in the Los Alamos Valley, the Honea Vineyard and Walker Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, and the Zotovich Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. Compared to the Barberas of Piedmont this is stylistically a bit bigger and plumper, but still shows that incredible vibrancy and natural acidity that makes Barbera so easy to drink and versatile. Enjoy young (decanting suggested) or lay down for a year of two for further integration. Try it with a meal of lamb chops and fresh summer eggplant seasoned with Indian spices.

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Price: $20.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2013 | Send Email
The nose of this Barbera really does knock you back! Ripe red berries, floral notes, and spice carry over to a palate full of brooding raspberry and cherry fruits, cracked pepper, and vibrant acidity. This wine is so fresh and balanced it will have you going back for that one extra glass every time!

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/17/2013 | Send Email
I do love a California Barbera, and this one does not disappoint. Plum, blackberry, cocoa, cassis, black currant, faint hints of saddle leather. Plush, pretty fruit but with high acidity and medium tannins with a long, lingering finish. Perfect for cocktail hour with appetizers (try this wine with Parmigano Reggiano cheese- it's insanely good!) or with a braised pork dish. Delish!

Additional Information:



- Thanks goodness for Italy's wine revolution! If not for the intrepid producers who reduced yields and focused their energy on improving quality in Italian wine production, we may have never known how delicious Barbera could be. Native to Italy, Piedmont's Monferrato is most often cited as its birthplace (though others argue that Oltrepò Pavese in Lombardy is its rightful home) with records of vineyard plantings dating back as far as 1246. Best known and most planted in its dark-skinned iteration (there is a white version of the grape called Barbera Bianca), the world's top Barberas come from Piedmont's Alba, Asti and Monferrato DOCs and styles can vary significantly depending on climate and soil. But you can always count on Barbera for its distinct ruby red color, vibrant acidity and mild tannins. Juicy red fruit and hints of smokiness are also common characteristics. Grown elsewhere in Italy, Barbera is used in varietal wines and as a blending grape to varying degrees of success. Outside of Italy it has also been planted extensively in North and South America, but most successfully in California, where it was planted by Italian immigrants and long, warm growing seasons give this late-harvest varietal the chance to develop complex flavors to compete with its racy acidity.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.8