Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wining in Lake County...Hawk and Horse Vineyards

Back in May, I received a bottle of wine from a winery with whom I was unfamiliar - Hawk and Horse Vineyards. It was a beautifully packaged bottle of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, with lots of great information about the winery, a small, family-owned and operated ranch and vineyard estate located in the Red Hills AVA of Northern California. They incorporate both organic and biodynamic methods in their farming, and are Demeter Biodynamic and CCOF Organic certified, and their winemaker is the renowned Richard Peterson. I was excited!

I invited my fellow wineaux, Debra B., to join me for dinner so I could take advantage of her excellent palate to assist with tasting this wine, but we were dismayed to discover upon opening the bottle that the wine was damaged, probably from the brief intense heat spike that occurred during shipment.

I contacted the winery to let them know that I wasn't going to review the wine due to the unfortunate circumstances, and hoped they would keep me on their list for the next vintage, as I didn't want them to ship me a bottle during our current extremely hot summer here in SoCal.

Well, they sent me another bottle - packed with a cold pack! - and am I glad they did. JD and Debra and I met at Bistro Provence, where I had the wine decanted prior to dinner. We started with a 2011 Beckman Grénache Rosé as an aperitif while the Cabernet took a few breaths.

Wow. That is a technical term, you know. Wow. The deep purple, almost opaque wine provided a nose filled with anise, blackberries, brambles, and earth. On the palate, the firm, silky tannins gave way to a peppery finish that paired perfectly with the highly seasoned lentil soup. After it had been open for another 30 minutes or so, the taste deepened to include that very specific taste you get with chocolate-covered cherries.

And it just kept getting better. Debra happily paired a braised pork dish for her dinner, but JD and I chose the saffron seafood risotto, and it was amazing with that, too! By the time we got to our caramel tarte tatin dessert, the wine's fruit was beautifully evident, and the slightly peppery finish added spice to the end of the meal.

So, thank you to Tracey and Mitch Hawkins and Richard Peterson for a delightful introduction to Hawk and Horse. I look forward to tasting more of their luscious wines!

And don't forget to join me on Saturday, September 15th for Tasting Australia and New Zealand with the Goddess! RSVP today!


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