Friday, August 18, 2006

2003 Sandhill Barbera "Small Lots"

A Canadian Barbera? Cats and Dogs living together? Yes, a rather unique idea (I am not aware of any other Canadian Barbera pioneers), but it works. I have spoken highly of Sandhill in other posts, and this further reflects on the quality of winemaking at this house.

The 2003 Sandhill Barbera is very interesting on the nose - spicy - my wife accurately described it as 'incense', with white cherries and some interesting forest notes. It was very "hot", with the high (14.5%) alcohol overpowering some of the other scents. On the palate it tasted wonderfully Italian, dry, oaky, with that taste of the wild. It was a light to medium bodied wine with a short finish, for drinking now.

Overall, it was a well balanced and very interesting wine, with the only defect the strong alcohol notes that overpowered some of the other (beautiful) scents and flavours. It was very much like the Italian Barberas that I have tasted, and competitive (C$27) with Barberas in that price range.

Readers should note that this was only the fourth vintage of Sandhill's Barbera - I am impressed with the quality of wines produced by this house with such young vineyards - their wines should continue to improve in coming years.

I would give this wine some air before drinking. It would pair well with a meat lasagne or thin crust pesto pizza.

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