Update: Post #150 has been rescheduled to Monday, May 23. I’ve got some really special wines planned to celebrate, so be sure to check back. Don’t miss it. — Cheers, Tyler (5/19/2011)
Two weeks ago I featured some great warm weather white wines from Europa Village, the Temecula Valley’s newest boutique winery. There were just too many wines worthy of recognition in their line for me to cover in one post, so today we are revisiting them to talk about their reds. We’ve got some great red wines lined up today, but if you missed part one of my Europa Village visit, check it out here.
We will be talking about five wines today. As I mentioned in my previous post, Europa Village is not one winery, but three smaller boutique wineries, each devoted to the wine style of a different country. Three of today’s wines come from their French style winery, C’est La Vie, and the remaining two are by Bolero, Europa Village’s tribute to Spain. At the time of my visit their Italian style winery, Vienza, had just recently bottled their reds and they were not yet available for tasting, so unfortunately today’s post will not include their Sangiovese or their Super Tuscan style blend.
Wine 1: Europa Village: Bolero 2007 California Tempranillo
There are two things about Bolero’s Tempranillo that make it very unique. In California, for a wine to list only a single grape variety on the label, at least 75% of that wine must be that varietal. This wine is quietly actually a blend of 77% Tempranillo and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. The other thing that I find special about it is that it is only 13.6% alcohol, an indicator of the Europa Village mission to create easy drinking, food friendly wines.
The aroma of this wine is very ripe, with plenty of red fruit tones and an interesting gaminess. Raspberry sauce, plum reduction, cacao powder, and licorice all come together to create a fascinatingly earthy and ripe aroma.
Soft and smooth on the palate, this is a supple wine with light, dusty tannins. Vineyard dust and crushed raspberry show at first, with some crushed plum and rosemary flowers around the edges. There is also a softly oaky quality, some lasting white pepper, and just a hint of hazelnut. Very true to the varietal, this is also a clearly Californian wine, creating something pleasantly unique.
Worth Trying. 88 points.
Wine 2: Europa Village: Bolero 2007 California “Libido”
Libido is Europa Village’s take on a traditional Spanish red blend. Tempranillo, the dominant varietal in this blend, contributes bright red fruit tones and a complex earthiness. Grenache, called Garnacha in Spain, adds a plushness to the mouthfeel, while Mourvedre (called Monastrell) and Carignane (called Mazuelo) contribute spicy, dusty, earth tones.
Crushed dark raspberries dominate this wine’s aroma, with some interesting tamarind notes, and a bit of dark pomegranate as well. Subtle vanilla, kitchen herbs, and rosemary bush create a sweet smelling, appealingly earthy nose.
The palate is ripe, soft, and medium bodied with dusty tannins. Cacao powder, pomegranate seeds, vineyard dust, and dark raspberries show clearly at this wine’s core. Very soft pine needle tones, and just a touch of cappuccino add further depth to the flavor profile. This is an interesting wine with a very pleasant balance of flavors.
Worth Trying. 89 points
Wine #3: Europa Village: C’est La Vie 2007 Temecula Valley Syrah
Of all the wines that I tasted while I was at Europa Village this is the only one that is made using enough Temecula Valley grown fruit to be labeled a Temecula wine. Although it is the goal of Europa Village to eventually produce wines primarily from their own estate grown fruit, the young age of their newly planted vines is presently the reason that all their other wines are made with fruit sourced from other parts of California. This interesting exception gives us a look into the future of Europa Village and a taste of what they can do with their own home grown grapes.
Cranberry and red raspberry tones show on the nose, with red plum, lavender bush, and some cacao powder also showing through. A spin in the glass reveals an interesting herbal note, somewhere between menthol and thyme.
The palate is ripe, perfumed, and full of red raspberry flavors. Red plum, very soft violets, some orange peel, and a bit of dried berries all make an appearance as well. This is an interesting wine, with good complexity and a pleasant freshness.
Worth Trying. 90 points.
Wine #4: Europa Village: C’est La Vie 2007 California “En Vie”
En Vie is a fascinating blend that takes its inspiration from the wines of the south of France. Dominated by the plush Grenache grape, this wine is given a heavily rustic accent by an almost equal dose of the rugged grape, Carignane, and its peppery blending partner, Syrah.
This wine is captivating on the nose. There is an interesting green streak that I find very appealing, edging on herbal tones of oregano and dried rosemary. There is a core of red cherries, some pomegranate seeds, and a faint gaminess that makes this wine particularly unique.
The palate is soft and supple but also plush and ripe. Pomegranate, red cherry, and some sunny tones of mixed red fruits make up the core of this wine. The same dried rosemary found on the nose appears on the palate, with a dusting of cacao powder-like tannins and a hint of vanilla, creating an almost cappuccino like quality toward the finish. This is a solid, nicely put together wine with a good amount of depth.
Worth Trying. 90 points.
Wine #5: Europa Village: C’est La Vie 2007 North Coast “Winemaker’s Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon
Sourced from a property in Northern California neighboring the vineyards producing fruit for the famous Silver Oak and Opus One brands, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used in this wine have a pedigree. With fruit this good it goes almost without saying that this wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
This wine’s aroma is incredibly deep, elegant, and complex. Like liquid gemstones, this wine shimmers with tones of violets, black plum preserves, and sun ripened blueberries. A spin in the glass opens up some black tea, berry bush, and black stone notes that make this wine absolutely fascinating.
Deep, rich, and stunningly complex, this is a gorgeous wine on the palate. Perfectly ripe black and red berries combine with black plum tones to create a plush, fruity core. A beautiful combination of black stone and violets add depth to the palate, while subtle hints of black pepper and caramel enrobe the edges. This is a gorgeous wine with incredible depth and precision. The beautiful combination of spectacular fruit and skilled winemaking, this one is absolutely poetic.
Worth Trying. 93 points.
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