As the weather gets cooler my palate yearns more and more for red elements (but don't worry white lovers, there will more postings of those lovely wines as well). But cooler weather makes me think of the reds of Bordeaux, but perhaps even more these days the Rhone-styles. I pulled out two old friends to help with this transition, both from Southern California. The first is the lovely little 2006 Melange de Reves from Leonesse Cellars in Temecula. This wine is a blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Grenache that produces a medium body wine of fantastic aroma and taste. The nose hints at pepper, spice, berries and just a touch of tobacco ina warming combination perfect for my balcony-sitting in the evening. The taste is well balanced with a nice little touch of heat, good fruit, firm but not demanding tannins and good acidity that yields a nice medium-length finish.
Continuing with the same theme I decided to open a bottle of Curtis Winery's 2005 The Crossroad - Santa Ynez Valley. This tasty offering is another Rhone-style blend, this time of Grenache and Syrah. Curtis is a Rhone-style specialist boutique winery in the best sense of the word. From the get-go the nose is teased with clove, black fruits, and just a touch of sandalwood. I swear I spend quite a minutes just letting the aroma linger before even tasting. On the palate we get lovely black cherries and vanilla with fine acidity and good tannins that carry the event to a tasty lingering finish.
Wines reviewed in 2009: 214