Conundrum Red 2018
Caymus started making Conundrum Red in 2011. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine – created from dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah – the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Pizza anyone?
You don’t know what it wants and you’ve underestimated its character. But you can feel it watching your every move. A cunning presence lingers, like a thorn in your side. It isn’t going anywhere.
While working with their growers in Napa Valley, The Prisoner team came across small, premium vineyard lots of Merlot, which served as their inspiration to create Thorn 2017. The Merlot was blended with Syrah to create depth in the body while Malbec accentuates the fruit. Earthy aromas open up into cocoa, mocha, espresso, and dark cherry aromas.
Full with medium tannins and a juicy finish.. The entry is smooth with flavors of cherry, chocolate, vanilla, and a mild toastiness. The finish is long with balanced acidity. 80% Merlot; 20% Blend of Petite Sirah, Malbec and Syrah.
Rabble Tempranillo 2017$28.00
From the Rioja clone and aged 12 months in French oak, the Rabble Tempranillo 2017, Mossfire Ranch Vineyard. Made up of 100% Tempranillo, it is opaque purple-colored, offering up a super-expressive bouquet of bacon, tar, mineral, pencil lead, blueberry, black raspberry, and licorice. Smooth-textured, layered, ripe, and sweetly-fruited, this forward pleasurable, lengthy effort has 2-3 years of aging potential but can be enjoyed now and over the next 10 years. Rabble labels are renditions of historical wood block prints from the Nuremberg Chronicle (late 1400’s), textured and tactile, depicting nature’s wrath. Nature is ruthless when it goes ignored. This label illustrates the Great Wave smashing into the Spanish Coast.
Happy Canyon Piocho Bordeaux Red Blend 2017, Happy Canyon Valley, California, USA$37.00
Piocho Ranch was acquired by Thomas J. Barrack Jr. in 1992. Out of a love for the countryside and a ranchers life, the Barrack family developed rolling acres of vineyards. The peaceful and beautiful property sits nestled in the Happy Canyon Valley, a perfect location for growing grapes and riding horses. Two regulation sized Polo fields are groomed with the same care as the finest golf courses in the world. Piocho means “Where the two rivers meet and go to heaven.” The Happy Canyon Piocho 2017, a Bordeaux blend, has an inviting deep ruby color. Ripe black currant, cherry, espresso and smoky oak show on the nose. This wine is lush, sweet and open-knit, with a pliancy to its flavors of dark berries, licorice and chewing tobacco. The Happy Canyon Bordeaux Red Blend 2015 exhibits deep aromas of spice, dark bing cherries, wood, burnt blackberries and jam. On the palate there are slight herbal/floral flavors with minerality, dried violets and tobacco all surrounded by dense fruit. This a truly lovely wine that is wonderful to drink today when paired with big rich cuisine such as Santa Maria Tri-Tip. The wines structure will allow it to mature and age nicely for at least another decade! Dusty, slow-building tannins give grip to the finish, which repeats the cherry and licorice notes.