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Rod Miller

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WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Rod Miller » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:36 pm

One of the best wines I have had in a long time. True grape fruit forward. Acid is slight lemon citrus. It has one fruit taste, together and low acid. It has very slight tannin taste. Oak in the mid-aroma. This is my cup of wine. No discernable sweetness. The sweetness comes from soft fruit ester. The bottle says 14.2% It is probably slightly higher. Back of the bottle says "May you be richly blessed!" This one is just one small part of being blessed.
May all beings find happiness and the causes of happiness!!!!
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:03 am

Glad to hear this one is drinking well. I've liked the Dillian wines that I've had, so I'll keep an eye out for the Barbera.


Mike
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Rod Miller

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Rod Miller » Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:24 am

Another similar Barbera is 2003 Gold Hill El Dorado. Fruit Forward this has a buttery/salty finish similar to European Barberas. Barbera's of the area have been killer maybe because the acid survives the heat well. Deaver and Cooper are couple of other good ones.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Carl Eppig » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:30 pm

Don't forget Easton.
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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Rod Miller » Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:37 pm

Easton is good, but they have problems with bret. It is real hit or miss if you get a good bottle.
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Mark Willstatter

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Mark Willstatter » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:29 pm

I've enjoyed most of the few Dillian wines I've tried - I was formerly an occasional winery employee nearby, met Tom Dillian and his family in is role as manager of another local vineyard and was an early taster when they opened their tasting room. The one criticism I'd make is that some (a Zin or two, if I remember right) were a bit heavier on the oak than I'd prefer. I believe some of their early releases were made for them elsewhere but whether a 2002 Barbera (they only built and opened their current faciility in 2003) is one of those or not, I don't know. The intention was to move all production in house, a transition that may well be complete by now. I mention all of this only to point out that they're probably still early in the process of developing a "house style", which may or may not be evident in an "older" vintage like this. Very nice people, though, and the winery is worth watching as it develops.

I, too, have found some brett in Easton Barbera. It was only moderate and not terribly off-putting in the couple of bottles I've had but I can certainly believe there might be some bottle or vintage variation. The word locally was that Cooper Vineyard Barbera (the fruit, not the wine - the source for Easton's Barberas) is particularly affected by brett. I also heard from others that Terre Rouge/Easton's winery practices might not be as successful as others in terms of controlling fruit-borne brett. I don't remember the details but I think it had to do with how SO2 was added at crush.

Finally, I don't know if you've sampled another nearby source for Barbera - Boeger. Boeger makes (or has made in the past) some unusual Italian varietals, some in limited enough quantities that they don't make it much beyond the tasting room. I remember Refosco and Charbono, for example, in addition to the Barbera that is more widely distributed. It's been a few years since I tasted there but the Barbera was often my favorite of their lineup. It can be a bit hit-and-miss there but prices are reaonable for the hits ($15 or so for the Barbera, I think). It's too bad they abandoned their historic old stone tasting room for the new glitzified one but still worth the trip if you haven't made it.
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Rod Miller

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Rod Miller » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:13 pm

Thanks for the great info. It is nice to hear from a local expert.

Thanks for the caveat on Dillian. The history of these wineries is similar. Many were long term growers for Sutter Home. In 2000 or 2001 Sutter/Montevina played with purchase contracts and many growers like Dillian, Cooper, Karmere, and Bray decided to make wine instead or in addition to marketing grapes. Many of these same wineries are finding their "style." The most prominent example I have experienced was with Karmere. They won an Italian Barbara contest w/ the 03 vintage. Their 04 wines were all super sweet. They fired their winemaker.

I hate bret so I am real sensitive to the taste. It ruins any wine for me and I toss most with it in it.

I like Justin Boeger's (son winemaker) new Barbera style a lot. I am impressed with Gold Hill's barbera. I have liked Cooper's in the past and never tasted bret. 04 won gold at state fair.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: WTN: Dillian 2002 Barbera Shenadoah Valley, CA

by Carl Eppig » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:34 pm

Rod Miller wrote:Easton is good, but they have problems with bret. It is real hit or miss if you get a good bottle.


Hmmmm! I sent my brother an Easton/Terre Rouge three pack for Christmas including a Barbera. To be honast, though, I'm not sure he would detect it. I know he has consumed some CDPs that were loaded with brett, and he loved them.

Brett is a very interesting subject, and I'm glad there is an active thread on it now.

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