“Barbera has always been evocative of donkeys for me — in Piemonte, Nebbiolo is the show pony everyone fawns over, but Barbera is the loyal, hard-working donkey that gets the hard work done. Stubborn, yes, but with a big heart, and never flighty. Some years ago I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a mini-donkey named Hercurmer who lives in Fiddletown, and after he was shot with a pair of arrows (not fatally, thank goodness) by some miscreant I decided to canonize him and make him the patron saint of our Forlorn Hope Barbera. Saint Hercurmer of the Arrows — ever your loyal companion.
The 2018 San Hercurmer delle Frecce was grown on the Rorick estate vineyard in Calaveras County, on soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone. Elevation of the vineyard is 2000’.
Our Barbera was hand-picked and fermented with 100% stem inclusion. Vigorous pigeage was undertaken at reception in order to avoid carbonic character — perhaps call it a “stem inclusion” fermentation as opposed to “whole cluster” fermentation; an important distinction as the term “whole cluster” can imply that the clusters are sound/unbroken at the start of ferment, resulting in carbonic maceration. The fermentation took place in open-top vessels; manual punchdowns were applied twice daily until the wine was dry. Primary fermentation lasted 20 days, at which time the wine was pressed down to a combination of neutral oak 500L puncheons and 227L barriques. The wine was racked off the lees at 10 months and saw a total of 20 months elevage. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. As with all Forlorn Hope wines, no new oak is utilized, and nothing was added to the must or wine (no cultured yeast, ML bacteria, water, tartaric acid, enzymes, nutrients, etc) with the exception of minimal effective SO2.”