I wanted to kick off the first Temecula Tuesday of the new year with something really great, so today we’re revisiting my friends at Monte de Oro winery to taste some of their reds. I say “revisiting” because not long ago we had a look at a selection of their whites. For more information on the winery and notes on some pretty great wines, check out that article here.
I first was introduced to Monte de Oro’s wines when I tried a bottle of their proprietor’s red blend, Synergy 65. From that moment I knew I had come across something good. The complexity, depth, and sheer structure of that blend was something on a level of refinement that is often difficult to find in Temecula wines. I had to investigate these guys further.
Wine #1: Monte de Oro 2005 Temecula Valley “Synergy 65”
The inspiration behind this post, Synergy 65 is a complex blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel. Each wine was aged separately in French or American oak between 16 and 20 months prior to blending and bottling.
Ripe, dark raspberries dominate this wine’s aroma. Deep tones of violet and lavender combine with melted black licorice and dried berries, and a spin in the glass reveals hints of prune and driftwood.
The palate is sweet, smooth, deep and ripe. Raspberry and rich driftwood tones dominate the flavor profile, edged by lavender and violets. This is a very well balanced wine with exceptionally ripe red fruit balanced by firm woody tones on the edges. It’s very well executed and pleasant with nice varietal expression from each of the components in the blend.
Worth Trying. 91 points.
Wine #2: Monte de Oro 2006 Temecula Valley Cabernet Franc
Raspberry jam and black currant preserves show strongly on the nose. Green bell pepper, wet stone, black pepper, and a hint of vanilla and spice also make appearances.
The palate is ripe and sweet with blackberry and blackcurrant preserves appearing initially. The same stone and green pepper tones found on the nose show on the mid palate, with vanilla and plum preserves showing into the finish. This is a nicely balanced wine with a firm and persistent tannin structure and a good amount of subtle complexity.
Worth Trying. 90 points.
Wine #3: Monte de Oro 2006 Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The aroma is somewhat nutty and dominated by coffee, chocolate, and dark caramel tones. It’s deep and exciting, with a spiciness, a bit of charred herbs, and a good amount of dark fruit preserves.
The palate is rich and ripe, with deep red fruit tones and an immediately impressive structure. Its tight but full bodied with dried cherry and berries, cacao powder, and crushed dark stone making up the majority of the flavor profile. There is a very enticing, Old World edge to this wine that makes me think that it could age for a while and really unfold into something unique.
Worth Trying. 90 points.
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The Grapevine: What was the last really great red wine blend you had?