Saturday, January 9, 2010


Barterra has a small tasting room in downtown Half Moon Bay. It's a negociant brand, which means they own no vineyards or winery; instead they purchase finished wines from other producers and sell them under their own label. The company sells around 2,000 cases annually, with at least 10 different wines from various appellations. The wines are available at a number of local restaurants or at the tasting room.

There is no charge for tasting, but you are asked to make a donation to local charities. They also have a range of own-label olive oils, as well as some rather good chocolates.

2006 Sparkling Wine, Carneros
Blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A creamy, toasty nose. Smooth and soft, with a yeasty finish. 87 $38

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Amador County
The grapefruit and gooseberry nose tells you that it's a Sauvignon Blanc, but on the palate it could be anything. Aging in neutral oak has taken away the crispness; there are notes of vanilla. If it wasn't for the nose I'd probably have guessed a Rhone style. 85 $23

2006 Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains
Made by Bargetto from the Regan Vineyard. Nose of spicy oak and cherry. A lightweight wine with soft cherry fruit and cinnamon. There's a bitter citrus pith note on the finish. 86 $25

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
Light nose, earthy with some brambles. Lots of tannin, some cocoa and blackcurrant fruit. Dry, tannic finish. 83 $39

2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
Same vineyard and vintage; the Reserve is free-run juice rather than pressed, and it shows. The nose is more assertive and less earthy. On the palate it's fruitier and more intense. It seems riper too, with perhaps some residual sugar. The tannins are much finer and controlled. 87 $45

2006 Dry Creek Zinfandel
There's a funky, earthy component to the nose. Flavours of raspberry and grapefruit. Soft tannins and a quick, dry finish. 84 $25


George Radu said...

David: Did you like any of the wines? They seem fairly expensive, given the availabity of good inexpensive wines. Was the anything "special" about the tasting to make it worthwhile for a visit?

Dave said...

I didn't buy anything. As you say, the prices are too high for what you get. If you want to be a negociant then you have to offer good value; look at Cameron Hughes.

Unless you happen to be in Half Moon Bay anyway I wouldn't bother.