Winery: Churon Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Barbera
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Benny Rodriguez
How They Describe It
Juicy and drinkable light-bodied red. The high acidity and low tannins make for the perfect pair with rich foods. Flavors of dark cherry and blackberry with hints of violet and vanilla. Ready to drink.
How I Describe It
A fairly deep hue of magenta and ruby frames the Churon 2017 Estate Barbera. Minimal filtration produces fairly heavy sediment upon pouring.
The Churon 2017 Estate Barbera features aromas of tart cherry, along with dried basil and sage. Brioche, vanilla, toasted coconut and blackberry decorate the background, while distinct rose and lavender notes envelope the rest of the bouquet.
Cedar, nutmeg, and charcoal build from a base of blackberry jam and wild cherries. Meanwhile, flint, lavender water, and black pepper layer underneath.
Churon’s 2017 Estate Barbera is dry, and at 14.2% ABV alcohol is high. Medium tannins and medium-plus acid combine with the alcohol viscosity to produce a medium-plus body. Flavor intensity is medium. However, the way the alcohol amplifies the wine’s fruit characteristics gives it a long finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
Piedmontese varietals make another strong showing in the Churon 2017 Estate Barbera. Barbera is the most planted grape varietal in Italy’s Piedmont region for a number of reasons. First, the grape is less finnicky than its more robust cousin, Nebbiolo. Second, it produces an unobtrusive, easy-drinking red wine with lots of color and bright red fruit.
Piedmont’s climate is dominated by a strong diurnal range, which comes from how cold air from the Italian Alps shifts with warm air from the Mediterranean. So, why would a grape grown next to snow-topped Alps do well in the warm, sunny Temecula Valley AVA? It’s that diurnal range.
In Southern California Wine Country, sun-baked soil is cooled nightly by Pacific Ocean breezes. The Temecula Valley AVA is situated along a natural air funnel, which jets the sea breeze through the area as the sun sets. That regular temperature fluctuation, combined with regular morning fogs, creates the same kinds of optimal conditions for Piedmontese grapes like Barbera to thrive.
When & How I Would Drink It
Like its Italian forebears, the Churon 2017 Estate Barbera is unobtrusive easy drinking. This is the kind of wine I would drink at the end of a long work day, when all I want to do is relax and let my mind decompress. Personally, I think Temecula’s slightly warmer climate brings additional brightness to the Barbera’s natural red fruit, and the acid makes the wine taste extra juicy.
Very often, it’s easiest to find food pairings by looking at the native cuisine from where the wine originated. Cream-based pasta dishes, using thick or filled pasta (e.g., gnocchi, agnolotti, ravioli, etc.) are outstanding. Roasted vegetables would be great as well, in addition to well-seasoned meats like corned beef.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $39.99 ($31.99 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 122 cases
Have you tried the Churon 2017 Estate Barbera? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.