Albariño, Cimmaron Vineyards, concrete aging, concrete fermentation, Dos Cabezas, Malvasia, Meskeoli, Muscat of Alexandria, Picpoul Blanc, Reisling, Sonoita wineries, Todd Bostock, viognier, White blends, White wine, White Wines, Willcox Bench
We’ve encountered Dos Cabezas before with the bold red blend called La Montaña, but with the thermometer determined to rise to the breaking point right after last weekend’s storms (it’s supposed to hit 92 degrees in Jerome this weekend) it’s time we start breaking out the whites. So, here’s the 2013 Meskeoli.
I should note that there is none of the 2013 Meskeoli left; I have not yet tasted the 2014 (I need to the next time I get down to Sonoita), so I have no idea off-hand how it’s different.
The Wine: The 2013 Meskeoli is a blend of 38% Picpoul Blanc, 25% Viognier, 15% Reisling, 13% Roussanne, 3% Albariño, 3% Muscat, and 3% Malvasia. The fruit for this wine all came from Todd Bostock’s Cimmaron Vineyard, on the Willcox Bench. As for the name, Todd relates that it’s a long story, but “Meskeoli” is essentially a made-up word that honors his wife. The wine was fermented in a 1,850L concrete egg – then aged in his 600L concrete egg along with two neutral 500L Taransaud French oak barrels. Dos Cabezas, so far as I am aware, is the only winery in Arizona to do much of their fermentation in concrete fermentation eggs; a practice that is far more common in European wineries. The idea behind concrete aging is that, like oak, concrete is porous and therefore, the wine is able to breathe, facilitating richness and complexity without leaving an oaky flavor behind. Like barrel aging, the porous nature of the concrete allows the wine to slowly aerate, providing layers and softness. It is a bright, friendly lemon yellow color.
The Nose: The nose of this wine is light and soft, yet complex. The wine opens with mint, sage, jasmine and elderflower (the latter, of course, a Malvasia influence). Notes of apple, stone, lychee, rosemary, sandalwood, peach, orange blossom, boxwood and lily emerge after the wine’s been open for a little while. The scent oddly makes me think of a hot summer day in June.
The Palate: The palate of this wine is more complex than the nose. Meyer lemon, mint, sour apple, pear, peach and limestone. The 2013 Meskeoli has a light fore-palate, but a little bit of weight on the midpalate. There is apricot, honeydew, flint, and limestone on the midpalate, with some lychee notes on the midpalate, and iris and lychee rounding out the finish. It’s dry, with no residual sugar, with a nice, crisp acidity that is somehow both simultaneously thirst-quenching but leaves you wanting more to wet your whistle. The finish is long, but a little variable in terms of length, clocking in at about 18 seconds on average.
Pairing: This would be a great wine for a shrimp ceviche, or light picnic sandwiches. Fried fish would also be a fun pairing for this wine. For a vegan pairing, try a light pasta dish with olive oil and possibly alfredo sauce with roasted peppers. It’s a great, easy-going summer wine, but is also quite complex.
Impressions: Oddly enough, this wine is quite reminiscent to a Falanghina Beneventano I had last year in terms of both taste profile and bouquet. That grape, after that bottle, made it onto my top 15 varietals list. This also makes me wonder about planting this particular grape varietal in Arizona. But that’s neither here nor there, and I digress. The 2013 Meskeoli is an amazing spring and summer wine that lends itself to high temperatures and picnic lunches. It’s definitely a feminine wine, lounging in the summer grasslands of the Arizona mountains in a sundress, with a picnic basket, with silver earrings and a small tattoo on her back. She’s a little hyper, but not overly so, and is fun to hang around.