Renwood 2004 Barbera: $6

Renwood 2004 Barbera

Yay, finally a wine under $10 worth writing about! Tonight, I had dinner with friends at Coalfire Pizza (you HAVE to go, if you live in Chicago – it’s super chill and offers delicious pizza) after a failed attempt to go to Piece (March Madness is STILL not over – argh!). We arrived at Coalfire to realize it was BYOB. My wine connoisseur friend, Chris, and his girlfriend Suzelle, immediately made a beeline for nearby Randolph Wine Cellars to pick something up. According to their account of the events, Chris headed to the fancy wines he knew. Suzelle, meanwhile struck up a conversation in the front of the shop. After she mentioned that she was dining with friends at Coalfire and asked for a suggestion, the staff recommended a 2004 Renwood Barbera.

Fast forward 20 minutes… With the wine open, we all toasted Suzelle’s birthday as Chris recounted the goings-on at Randolph Wine Cellars. He got to the point of the story I recounted above, when he stopped, and said, “Have a few more sips. Then I’ll tell you the rest of the story.”

So, we had a few more sips, deemed the wine delicious, and Chris continued triumphantly: “So, the last part of the story is that the wine cost $6 a bottle!” A little background: Chris does not skimp on quality when it comes to wine. The night before his birthday, he generously shared a couple bottles of Stag’s Leap Artemis with us. The Artemis averages about $50 a bottle, depending on the year. And it’s quite good.

I had tasted the Renwood’s Old Vine Zin on several past occasions, and it was not particularly memorable. But the Barbera was delicious – I’m not an expert at identifying tasting notes, but it had a lot a fruit, and almost a caramel-y, smooth finish. And just a touch of smokiness, probably from whatever oak whence it came.

DEE-LISH!

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5 responses to “Renwood 2004 Barbera: $6

  1. I’ll have to get us some! Another cheap wine that is not bad, IMHO, is Crane Lake Cab. It’s around $6 also. Since you like Zin’s, have you tried the Bogle Old Vine Zin? Pretty nice.

  2. Jody:

    Thanks for the post — love to hear about good buys! Sounds like your friend Chris is right on — IMO an educated palate should be able to enjoy all sorts of wine. The point is not to only appreciate expensive, amazing wine. It’s to enjoy all levels for what they are.

    If you like quality at around $10, try a Cotes du Rhone 2004 by Guigal, or for a few bucks more almost anything from the Australian winemaker Thorn Clarke.

    If you’d like, please check the Work, Wine and Wheels blog out at http://cparente.wordpress.com

    (Another) Chris

  3. Thanks, Chris. I’ll check out your recommendations next time I’m at Binny’s or Sam’s. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I have been praising this wine for a long time! Just wrote a blog about it myself. You can’t go wrong with any of Renwood’s varietals. My favorite remains the Barbera, however.

  5. Thanks for your kind words on our 2004 Barbera! We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy more Renwood wines in the future.

    Danica
    Director of Marketing
    Renwood Winery

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