We all eagerly awaited the release of the 2012 Barbera. So, apparently, have many of you as we have gotten a lot of questions about a release date. We have said many times that we would not release a wine if it did not meet our standards of taste and quality. Such was the dilemma that we were faced with the 2012 vintage of our very popular “Drop Dead Red” Barbera. Something about it just did not taste right.
We were not sure of it when we bottled it, but Barbera has an uncanny ability to improve in the bottle. Six months in the bottle is like a year and a half in the tank, so we thought bottling it might improve its taste by adding some age – wrong! It had a chemical taste, sort of metallic or “steely” aura, and an aftertaste that was just slightly “off”. It was the finish that put the final nail in the coffin of one of our favorite wines (and yours, too, judging from the inquiries as to when it would be ready).
We are not quite sure what happened? It could have been some kind of contamination while in the steel tanks, or in the barrels. Despite our efforts to clean and sanitize our equipment sometimes it happens. Or it could have been something that came in with the juice. After all, the trip from California offers a lot of opportunities for something (like a mold spore) to get into the juice.
Whatever the problem or its source we just could not release this wine and live with ourselves.
We do not take these decisions lightly. They affect us, our customers, and our pocketbook. We bottled about a pallet of 2012 Barbera, that is 640 bottles, and at $22 per bottle well…. you do the math!