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1994 Il Podere dell' Olivos California Barbera ($13).


Here is an excellent example of what a complex, nuanced red wine the oft-scorned barbera grape can produce. It's a medium- to full-bodied wine with flavors of black cherry, spices, smoked meats, chocolate and coffee. Tomato sauce isn't going to overwhelm this bad boy. Kudos to California's premier barbera producer. (The single-vineyard version is even more impressive.)

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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