Santa Barbara County is a near paradise to Barbera, which likes cooler climates to truly flourish. A true overview of the region, the 2009 Barbera is a blend from four vineyards in three cool climates -- the Alisos Vineyard in the Los Alamos Valley, the Honea Vineyard and Walker Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, and the Zotovich Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. Each of these cool-climate vineyards delivers a bit of their own personality to this charming food wine. The vibrant purple edges surrounding the scarlet color of the wine tells of its youth and brightness before even a swirl. The swirl releases intense and elegant aromas of blackberry preserves on toast and just picked dark plums. A first sip pleases and surprises the palate, with the roundness from the nose being overtaken with a bright and lively acidity and red fruit flavors -- red raspberry, sour cherry, mulberry and cran-cherry. The layering from the vineyards is evident with textural components of bramble, tea-like soft tannins and a hint of rhubarb mingling with more blackberry, a hint of tar and earthiness and a lifting red plum note on the finish. This wine loves food, so enjoy with anything ‘rustica’ -- spaghetti with meatballs, lasagna, risottos and just about anything with tomatoes and herbs! Enjoyable now, but will really improve with aging -- we suggest decanting or aerating while the wine is still in its youth.