One of the challenges with picking wines to review on this site is finding a balance between mass-produced wines that are easy for readers to find and hidden gems that may be a little harder to track down but often offer unique and interesting nuances.
Another challenge is putting aside personal bias when doing reviews. To be candid, my preference for personal consumption tends to be smaller producers. Why? Because I tend to find those wines more interesting. My stereotype of big producers is that they tailor the wine to “focus groups” and sterilize the character out of the wine. I don’t know that they really do focus groups on the taste of the wine, but that’s the perception that I’ve concocted in my head. I also grew up on an apple orchard and have a soft spot for giving my business to independent producers.
Despite my personal preference, I know many readers come here just looking for a deal. You want to find a good wine that won’t cost you an arm and a leg… and you don’t want to hunt all over for it. You don’t need a 90-pointer, just something that is cheap and decent. Well this may be a pick for you.
The technology for wine has come so far that there is no reason a wine producer shouldn’t be able to create a decent wine, yet some of the wine from big producers that I’ve had has been undrinkable. That wasn’t the case with this one. I was apprehensive before I tasted this wine, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Now the last time I reviewed a Barefoot wine and had some positive things to say I found some passionate haters out there anxious to slam it. Feel free to disagree with me, but I did not find this wine at all objectionable. It’s lacking a bit of viscosity and complexity, but there are no real flaws. I wouldn’t call this an exceptional wine, but quality is very good for the price.
My biggest gripe is that there is no vintage on Barefoot wines. In a way it’s understandable, because when you’re creating wine in the quantity that they do I don’t know how you can have consistency. So, I worry about bottle consistency. Nonetheless, the one I had I liked.
The nose is a little bit one dimensional: black cherry. If you work at it you can pick up some perfumey / black pepper aromas and a hint of leather, but those are subtle. The palate is a little thin on mouth feel, but big on juicy fruit flavors. This wine is brimming with ripe black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors. And it’s approachable—not overly jammy. There is a little spice on the finish, which is fairly short. It’s not an elegant or refined wine, but it’s quite tasty.