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On National Wine Drinking Day, I decided to crack open a white wine after work, and pack a bowl of pipe tobacco and try to get some desperately-needed relaxation time in. The pipe tobacco was Briar Fox from Cornell & Diehl (a gift from a friend and avid reader of this blog); the wine was the 2014 Meskeoli from Dos Cabezas Wineworks. This wine tastes markedly different to me from the 2013 vintage I drank and reviewed on this blog quite some time ago.

The 2014 Meskeoli amidst some ruins in Old Jerome

The Wine: 2014 Meskeoli from Dos Cabezas WineWorks with a pipe. The blend for the 2014 Meskeoli is 25% Viognier, 21% Roussanne, 19% Riesling, 17% Picpoul Blanc, 11% Malvasia, 6% Albariño, and 1% Muscat of Alexandria.  These grapes were sourced from Bostock’s Cimmaron Vineyard, in the Willcox AVA.  Like the 2013 vintage, this wine was fermented in a 1,850L concrete egg – then aged in concrete and neutral oak. The varietals in the blend were picked as they became ripe and then were sorted.  The whole clusters were loaded into picking bins, stepped on, and then cold macerated for 24-48 hours.  The juice was allowed to oxidize, as no CO2 was added.  Then the fruit was pressed, settled overnight, and then racked into concrete and inoculated.  This procedure was repeated as necessary for each varietal and blended together as fermentation proceeded.  The wine was bottled at 6 months, sterile filtered, and unfined. Basically, the reason why the blend is different every year is, as Todd Bostock states: “If the fruit looks and tastes good, it goes into the blend. Cimarron is planted to a constellation of whites intended to be together.”

The Nose: The nose opens with notes of lemon, apricot, honeydew melon, and acacia blossom.  As the wine sits in the glass, additional notes of Starfruit, mint, and limestone emerge.

The Palate:  The 2014 Meskeoli has a very fruity palate; notes of lemon, pineapple, starfruit, and apricot round out the palate, with hints of gardenia and acacia blossom. The finish is long, lasting for 1 minute and 23 seconds, with notes of Meyer lemon and apricot, with subtle hints of minerality. There is nice acidity here, that coats the tongue.

The Pairing: The tobacco blend I smoked, a mix of Burley and Virginia, paired really well with the 2014 Meskeoli, though it did dimish a lot of the fruity character of this wine. Come to think of it, I really should talk more about wine pairings with pipe tobacco at some point…. but this pairing won’t help you if you’re not a pipe smoker. I can really see this wine going well with a chicken pesto dish, or a vegan equivalent.  It might also work well with breadfruit.

Impressions: Despite the 2014 Meskeoli Vintage blend being more focused on Viognier and Roussanne, this wine overall seems more acidic at first glance to me than the 2013, which was centered around Picpoul. After you spend some more time with it, however, on its own without any food (or without a pipe), you see that this initial impression isn’t quite correct, and the fruit stands out well.  At times, this wine reminded me a bit of those tropical fruit flavored starbursts. Personified, I feel that the 2014 vintage is a blonde-haired track runner who does her prepping for marathons around high mountain lakes in the middle of summer.