Wine Blogging Wednesday just keeps rolling along, doesn't it? It just can't be stopped -- but then again, who would want to stop such a fun and educational event?
This month's vintage, brought to us by Winexpression's Jathan, focuses on Rhone-style blends and took me far from my usual Long Island wines. You see, there is a little syrah grown here and some viognier, but none of the other varieties mentioned in Jate's original post. So, I had to turn my eyes, and tongue, elsewhere...somewhere much warmer.
It would have been easy, of course, to just go out and buy a Rhone wine, but what's the fun in that. I wanted to find something from the West Coast and it was easy even with the hit-and-miss stores close to our house.
Curtis Winery, located in Santa Barbara County, specializes in Rhone-style wines so they made it even easier on me.
To say that this wine is different from what we typically drink would be akin to saying that I sorta kinda like wine. It's amazing how just a little more alcohol than we're used to can be so obvious. Curtis Winery's 2000 Heritage Cuvee ($10) comes in at 14.5%, which may not seem all that high to you Californians, but to us East Coasters, who typically drink wines in the 12.5ish range, the "heat" is apparent, both on the nose and on the palate.
Beyond the heat, this was an interesting little wine. 42% mourvedre, 35% syrah, 18% grenache and 5% counoise, the nose offers dark berries (Nena noted blueberries), vanilla and some tree bark earthiness. The earthiness and dark berry flavors carried over to the fore palate, with figs and vanilla in the middle and that slightly hot finish. The gripping tannins added structure throughout and only really stuck out on the relatively short finish. Plenty of acidity too.
On it's own, I wasn't that big a fan of this wine. But later in the evening when I drank it along with some grilled hoisin-bourbon glazed pork tenderloin, I liked it a lot more. The alcohol heat was barely perceptible and the acidity really worked well.
Overall, I'd drink this wine again, but probably only with food.