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Barra Barra
March 15, 2024 | Barra Barra

The Drunken Cyclist: "Excellent" and 90+ Points for our Barra Zin, Petite and Cabernet

2020 Barra of Mendocino Petite Sirah Reserve, Mendocino, CA: Retail $28. Very Responsible Bottle (487g; 1lb 1.1oz). Synthetic stopper. 100% Petite Sirah. Dark indigo in the glass with rich and intense fruit (blackberry, plum, cassis), some vanilla, and a mature floral note (violet). The palate is exactly what one would expect from the nose: rich fruit, secondary flavors of vanilla and spice, and just a hint of oak. The finish is rather lengthy and includes subtle hints of tannin, but they are silky and smooth. While this is quite nice now, I am sure another year or two would add to its allure. Excellent. 91 Points. 

2021 Barra of Mendocino Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, Mendocino, CA: Retail $28. Very Responsible bottle (490g; 1lb 1.2oz). Under synthetic stopper. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The world is awash with Cabernet; it is grown practically everywhere and consumed even more widely. I imagine that it is more than difficult to make a Cab that stands out; a grain of sand in a tidal wave. While this wine will never cause me to shake my head in disappointment at the top wines of Bordeaux or try to trick my friends with a blind tasting of this mixed among California Cult Cabs, this certainly has a place. The price is inviting and mostly inclusive while the wine is rather lithe and engaging. Dark in color and in fruit aromas (blackberry, cassis) with touches of spice and pepper (black and maybe white). The palate is fairly fruity, but far from over the top, with a tart acidity as a capable dance partner, leading to an ebullient ending, full of verve and spunk. Excellent. 90 Points.

 2020 Barra of Mendocino Zinfandel Reserve, Mendocino, CA: Retail $26. Very Responsible bottle (493g; 1lb 1.4oz). Synthetic stopper. 100% Zinfandel. Dark ruby, even quite dark with rich, ripe fruit aromas of plum, blackberry, and cassis with spice (cardamom), cedar, and a slight earthy element. The palate is fruity, even quite fruity with an initial wave of blackberry which really dominates all the way through to the finish. A hint of mocha sneaks in on the mid-palate along with a fairly intense tanginess, the latter of which vies to contain all that fruit. Look, this is certainly on the big side of a variety that is usually fairly big. Tons of fruit. Tons. But it is a ton of fun and likely better on its own. Excellent. 91 Points. 


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