JR Classic Barbera 2022

Producer: Jordan River Wines
Region: Mafraq Plateau
Appellation: Mafraq Plateau
Country: Jordan
Wine Type: Red
Variety: Barbera
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12.8%
Soil: Sandy loam with volcanic sub-soil
Farming Practices: Drip irrigation and dry farming
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Cellar Profile

The vineyards of family-owned Jordan River Wines are located on the Mafraq Plateau, on a mountain 80 km north of Amman. This is a holy site to the Abrahamic religions and the World Heritage site of Umm El-Jimal. The iron-rich, organically-poor soil sits upon a massive basalt slab that makes the vines work feverishly to reach the water table. Jordan is ranked as the 3rd most water poor country on earth and the region receives scant rainfall during the dry summers. However, the adjacent Massive Jabal Al-Arab glacier feeds glacial melt into 400-metre-deep aquifers that sustain the vineyards. 330 sunny days per year, on average, allow for full phenolic ripeness in the skins. These grapes are grown at elevation (almost 3000ft), with huge diurnal temperature shifts that impart freshness and acidity in the wines produced. Over 45 different Italian, French and Spanish varieties are planted.


Located on a remarkable landscape atop the Mafraq Plateau, at an altitude of 840 meters. At some point in antiquity, an extinct volcano (Jabal-Al-Arab) poured out fields of basaltic lava over the Mountain Heights Plateau, an area that is Jordan’s most fertile region. The Jordanian climate, with over 330 sunny days yearly, coupled with dry summers and constant breezes, is ideal for grapes and vines. Vast diurnal shifts between day and nighttime temperatures allow the vines to rest, which enhances the characteristics of each grape and retains balance in the wines produced.


Over 40 types of world-renowned vines, of the best quality, thrive in the mineral rich volcanic soil of the Basalt Desert. Not knowing what works in Jordan, all forty are growing in this ideal mixture, ultimately producing elegant wines. The rain and melting snow, flowing off the 1800m-high Jabal Al-Arab, travels under the volcanic desert surface and accumulates in 400-meters deep aquifers. This water is brought to the surface and used to supply the 120 hectares of ‘dry-farmed’ vineyards.


Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that produces good yields and is known for deep colour, full body, low tannins and high levels of acid. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red cherries and blackberries. In the lightest versions, there are notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries. In wines made of more ripe grapes, blackberry and black cherries dominate. Many producers employ the use of toasted oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity and aging potential.


Harvesting by hand in the evening and early morning in order to ensure cool fruit/ The grapes are gently crushed, then macerated and fermented in stainless steel using selected yeasts. Once malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine is left for a year on its gross lees before bottling.

Tasting Notes 

Blueberry, black cherry and crushed white pepper,on the nose. Medium-bodied and silky, this Barbera relies on acidity to provide the balance. Blueberry and kirsch on the palate, along with roasted red pepper and meaty notes. Uncomplicated and easy-drinking. Enjoy it on its own on a cool evening, or chill to cellar temperature and try it with burgers, beef kafta or roasted root vegetables.