PICK of the RACK: Dillian Wines | Barbera | Amador County | California | 2010 | $26 | 91 pts

DillianAromas: black cherry and plum; cocoa; cola
Character: dry & full-bodied; rich & fruit-driven; moderate tannins; vibrant acids; smooth, supple mouth feel; subtle oak
Flavors: plums sautéed in butter; dark fruit compote; chocolate; macadamia nut; vanilla-tinged oak
Food Pairing: mild-medium sharp cheeses; tomato-based Italian fare; Barbeque; roasted meats and vegetables

The father and son team at Dillian Wines — Tom Dillian, Sr., who was raised in a winemaking family and has farmed his own vineyards for upwards of four decades; and Tom Dillian, Jr., who is winemaker — produce some of the most enjoyable wines in Amador County.  Their Barbera, which Tom, Jr., crafts from fruit he and his father source from their estate as well as from neighboring vineyards throughout the California Shenandoah Valley AVA, is a perennial favorite of ours.  Amador County is renowned for Zinfandel, but over the past several years Barbera, an Italian variety, has been gaining firm ground in the region’s vineyards.30 Dillian Wines  This rendition is richly flavored, smoothly textured, and layered with aromas and flavors that revolve around ripe black fruits, chocolate, and spice — with undulating hints of buttery macadamia nuts.  Like other vintages of Dillian’s Barbera we have tasted, the 2010 amply demonstrates the prevailing characteristics of the finest Sierra Foothills wines:  densely fruit-driven, very pure, and impeccably balanced.  It is also immediately approachable and versatile with food, and we recommend you pair it with any assortment of cheeses, Italian fare, barbeque, grilled meats, and vegetables.  As is typical of us here at Wine on the Barrelhead with respect to just about any wine, we also very much enjoy sipping this Barbera on its own as an apéritif.  We look forward to tasting — and featuring — more Dillian wines.

31 Dillian Winess 2Availability:  Dillian’s Barbera is produced in fairly small quantities and will likely not be spotted on store shelves, but it can be had with a simple click of the mouse at www.dillianwines.com or by calling the tasting room at 209-245-3444 (it’s really not hard to order wines by internet or telephone, especially for the sake of enjoying something very fine and unique).  We also highly recommend visiting the winery and tasting room, located in Plymouth, California, about an hour’s drive east of Sacramento.

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