Lot 18/The Tasting Room, $15.99
Aaron: Sorry, all Teri on this one!
Teri: Because Aaron was a bit distracted when we opened this bottle, it looks like you are going to have to follow my opinion. I enjoyed the bright flavors of raspberry and strawberry with light oak on the finish. This wine has soft tannins (medium body) with high drinkability. 90 points for the flavors and its drinkability.
Montevina Barbera Website
Aaron: I liked the standard, oaky smell of this barbera which just enough nutmeg to add complexity. The rich, cocoa and vanilla flavor presented a good nuttiness with some light berries which weren’t too prominent. A little bitter if you don’t let it sit long enough but great with food. 91 points
Teri: I was surprised by this barbera. Normally a blending grape, I didn’t find this bottle as good as the pure barbera wines I have enjoyed in the past. Nutty/jammy flavors of cherry and plum but the flavors seem forced/mass produced. Medium body and heavy oak on the finish. Nothing too spectacular other than a semi-full flavor with nice tannins. 86 points
Bottle purchased from J&J Cellars in Paso Robles, $10 bottle or $60 case
Teri: This bottle is produced by J&J Cellars in Paso Robles and features barbera varietal, a grape commonly used for blending especially in Chianti. This was the first time I had tried a barbera and the taste was quite distinct. This wine carries a distinct cranberry flavor with a nice even rich taste and a hint of spice. The flavor would pair well with red pastas, spicy dishes, and savory meals. Being an inexpensive varietal, we ended up purchasing a case to have as a nice daily wine and to share with friends. Everyone we have shared this bottle with has liked and enjoyed it. 87 points
Aaron: When we first tasted this, we were pretty impressed at the drinkability for the price. We recently tried two bottles from a case we had bought and noticed that there were some dissimilarities. The first bottle had a strong sense of cranberry throughout. Overall, that was the prominent flavor and made the wine tangy. When we opened the second bottle a few days later, there was no cranberry flavor, but luscious red fruits that permeated a sweet, savory flavor. There was certainly more complexity in this second bottle and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The key to this wine is its flexibility; I could easily pair this with most meat and chicken dishes and not make anyone mad – that’s important when serving large parties. So my verdict: this is perfect for dinner parties, especially if you have a large crowd and need a reasonably priced, satisfying bottle that will keep everyone happy. 88 points