Two heads really are better than one, despite what your mother once taught you. Especially if they’re wearing conquistador helmets. And with that silly statement, I introduce Dos Cabezas Wineworks, which has been producing wines in Arizona since 1995. Originally located in Willcox, the tasting room and winery is now located in Sonoita, right across from the Sonoita Inn. Todd Bostock, the winemaker, and his wife Kelly (along with his parents) grow both in Sonoita and in Willcox. Some of his wines have been served in the White House. In the 15-acre Pronghorn vineyard in Sonoita, Bostock grows Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Aglianico, Roussanne, Marsanne, Malvasia and Grenache Blanc. In the Cimmaron vineyard, on the Willcox Bench, there are 38 acres of vines: Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, Primitivo, Viognier & Picpoul Blanc. There are also many smaller blocks of experimental plantings of well known and more esoteric varieties from Spain, Italy, and France.
The winery is named for the two-headed mountain which overlooks the Willcox Bench, which is where the fruit for the 2012 La Montaña comes from. They grow a wide suite of fruits, but Todd is pretty renowned above all else for his Tempranillo.
2012 La Montaña, Dos Cabezas. Dark, broody, and conquistadoresque.
The Wine: This wine is 25% each of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon; making it very different from the previous iteration of the La Montaña. This even balance of four bold varietals, aged in 100% new French/Hungarian oak (and I suspect a little American oak as well), makes for a supremely dark, bold, and brooding wine that sits heavily in the glass. It was further aged for 6 months in bottle, before being released to the tasting room. It is dark garnet, like the early morning before twilight.
The Nose: Classic notes from all four main wines appear on the nose; pencil shavings and Banana from the Petit Verdot; White pepper and boysenberry from the Syrah; green pepper and chipotle from the Cabernet Sauvignon, and licorice and blackberries from the Petite Sirah. These notes are intermingled with latakia, and cherry cavendish tobacco, cloves, and vanilla. It’s a very rich, deep nose that only intensifies and becomes more complex the longer this wine is open.
The Palate: The palate is pretty complex as well. Rich notes of cinnamon, vanilla, cherry, raspberry, strawberry and dark fruit intermingle with bourbon, cloves, cedar, allspice and some sort of Scottish style pipe tobacco blend (Cavendish, Dark Fired Kentucky, Latakia, Turkish, and Virginia tobaccos). Coffee notes are also predominant, along with a little bit of cassis. There’s a lot of tannins here, with a luxurious and velvety mouthfeel, with a pretty long finish.
Pairing: This wine needs a big meal. I feel like either a big peppercorn steak or a porterhouse would be perfect for this wine. I fear there’s not a good vegetarian pairing for this wine, unless you want to do some shitake mushrooms broiled in a teriyaki/soy sauce with wild rice. Barring that, a good cigar or a nice pipe will pair with this wine nicely also!
Impressions: There’s a LOT of tannins here; I really feel like this wine could benefit from some more aging in the cellar, or being decanted for about an hour or so, though it’s pretty fantastic now as it is. It’s decidedly big, and decidedly masculine. This wine is a military veteran who is a big-game hunter, but also likes to make grand philanthropic gestures. Essentially, this wine is Theodore Roosevelt, personified.
For more information about Dos Cabezas, check them out at http://www.doscabezaswineworks.com/, and be sure to visit them on your next visit to Sonoita. You can also follow Todd Bostock on Instagram, as well! Some of his wines can also be found at AJ’s, as well as Total Wine, though I’m pretty sure the 2012 La Montaña is exclusive to his tasting room.