Spotlight on Some Monster Reds From The West Coast That Are Out Of This World.
The first act is located at Sineann, pronounced shuh-NAY-uhn, a small producer of grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Columbia Valley region. Most of the wines come from single vineyard designated, with low crop levels, which ensure the best characteristics of the varietal and terroir shine through. Their belief is minimal processing, aging in French oak.
The star is 2021 Sineann "Abondante" Red Blend. Abondante is Italian for “generous,” and generosity shines through in this feature wine, and is the focus on set. The director, winemaker Peter Rosback, now one of the finest wine producers in the Pacific Northwest, is well known for sourcing the best fruit. His passion for the craft is well displayed in his wines. The star cast is of big red grapes grown in the Columbia Valley, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Abondante presents char, winter-mint, blueberry, black plum, bramble, branches, and sweet tobacco. The dialogue continues with violets on the palate, black pepper, vanilla, prune, fig, cooked berries, leather, earth, chocolate, and tar. This is a full-bodied, dry wine, with medium acidity and expressive tannins. Outstanding co-stars are hearty meat dishes, grilled vegetables, barbecue, or a good filet with portobello mushrooms and blue cheese.
The second act is on location at Ancient Peaks Winery, Paso Robles, California. Ancient Peaks has unique terroir that lends to their equally unique wines. Located along the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, their vineyard contains five different soils: shale, volcanic, rocky alluvium, and granite. It’s that distinctive and diverse terroir that influences the three-dimensional character in their 2020 Ancient Peaks Winery Merlot. With supporting roles from Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, it has some inviting spice and fruit personality. It opens with dusty aromas of boysenberry, black cherry, vanilla, and toasted oak. On the palate you will find textures delivering mouth-filling flavors of blueberry, blackberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and cola. The tannins are smooth and finely integrated into a rich, bold finish.
The third act will take place at Owen Roe in Columbia Valley, Washington. The winery was established in 1999, showcasing another vineyard and winemaking team that is focused on highlighting terroir with minimal handling. Winemaker and co-founder David O’Reilly has been the first and only one crafting the wines, with a focus on producing wines of integrity and character. This is another winery focused on finding the best quality fruit in the region, coming from the Yakima and Willamette Valley for their wines. The star of this act is the 2020 Owen Roe Ex Umbria Syrah Columbia Valley, Washington, that is 100 percent Syrah. With a wardrobe of deep purple color, and inviting aromas of violets, followed by savory fruit and herbs, with oak tones that continue to the palate. There are black plum, blackberry bramble, and the classic black pepper and smokey umami notes. It is very approachable from the bottle, with dry, medium-plus acidity with course, medium-plus tannins, making this a wonderful food pairing wine, with full body and a fruit-jammy long silky finish. Co-stars on the bill will include herb-crusted lamb, mushroom risotto, grilled vegetables with balsamic marinade, and aged cheeses.
The fourth act and final location will be at McNab Ridge Wine Company, led by the Parducci family—one of the pioneers of California’s Wine Industry, devoted to handcrafting premium Mendocino County wines for more than 70 years. McNab Valley is named after the Scottish immigrant and American soldier Alexander McNab, who raised sheep on a 10,000-acre land grant in 1866. He became well known locally for the skill of his herding dogs, Peter and Fred, who would become patriarchs of the McNab dog breed, still a beloved working breed in the Pacific Northwest, and Mendocino County in particular. McNab Ridge is one of three wineries that sit along McNab Creek. This is yet another location winery focusing on fruit quality, highlighting terroir in the wines, with the primary direction to bringing passion and history of the land and craft to the bottle.
The main character here is the 2020 McNab Ridge Wine Company Petite Sirah, from Mendocino California. Dressed in deep purple colors and a bouquet of blueberry pie, field flowers and lavender, which evolve to bramble, mesquite, and black fruit jam. With supporting roles from Touriga and Zinfandel, it lends to a dramatic structure that waivers between red and black fruit on the palate, with notes of red currant, strawberry, red cherry, black cherry, and cooked black plum. The fruit carries the story forward to some lighter tones of savory herbs, coffee, dark chocolate, leather, and earth. This is a powerful, monster wine with chalky tannins and a flavor-filled dialogue. Co-stars on the play bill are braised lamb, grilled steaks, or charcuterie with duck prosciutto, Bresaola, lamb salumi and aged cheeses, like aged provolone, or gouda.
The encore act stars a big red monster and is the featured themed wine for Fredericksburg Theatre Ensemble’s production of “The Little Shop of Horrors.” Staying on location at McNab Ridge Wine Company, the main character is the monster 2020 McNab Ridge Wine Company Skullflower Red Blend from Mendocino, California. The Skullflower monster has superpowers from Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Syrah. It is draped in deep purple, and smells of violets, raspberry, blackberry, bramble jam, fennel, smoke, and vanilla. With overripe fruit flavors of strawberry, black cherry, and blueberry, it also speaks a dialogue of black pepper, cream, and earth. It is a dry, fruit-forward wine, with medium-plus acidity, and high-chalky tannins, and it takes over the scene with never-ending drama. Co-stars are meaty dishes, barbecue, bold aged cheeses, or the rich, classy flourless chocolate cake.