Is this the best wine Lava Cap makes? The trouble with wineries with rosters this deep: it’s just SO hard to choose! The unique spirit of Barbera is alive and well in this bottle, that’s part is certain. Glowing ruby in the glass, thinning to Guards Red toward the rim. Mountain fire, dry brush and red soil flows out of the nose, well-timed with California warmth and peppery-ripe black cherry. Earthy barnyard controls the by-line, strawberry, nectarine and dark chocolate in a cigar-smoke tincture punctuated by herbs de Provence.

Succulent berry and olive go tête-à-tête with acidic spirit on entry. Signature black pepper impossible to miss and maintaining a delicious grip on the fruit. The velvet rasp of texture produced there-by a perfect back-drop for robust–and very ripe–mountain berry. Sultry while edgy, it’s a goth princess in Versace.

Some regions–especially young and warm ones–produce SOOOO many embarrassing wines there can be the temptation to write them all off, but stalwart labels like this one promise excellence year after year, wine after wine. GET TO KNOW LAVA CAP! I’ve worshiped this pillar of the Sierra Foothills for several decades, and so should you.

2018 LAVA CAP Barbera El Dorado Co. Sierra Foothills California 14.5

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