Dos Cabezas Wineworks 2008 El Campo

 

red wine stock pic

Type: Dry red
Made with: Tempranillo, Mourvedre and a field blend
Plays well with: Southwestern cuisine, grilled meats

There are several different points in the winemaking process where different varietals can be blended into one wine.  Many winemakers prefer waiting until right before bottling, then combining all the young, single grape wines into different formulations to hit on just the right taste – and, damn, that’s a fun process.  We know.  We’ve been doing it for the past several years with all the different wines Michael makes at home.

But the Dos Cabezas 2008 El Campo features a different kind of blending – what’s called a field blend.  That’s when two (or more) different varieties of grapes are crushed, fermented and pressed together into, basically right from the field.  The advantage is that you get a wine that can be more than the sum of its parts.

The dark red color had a slight salty aroma but given the venue –  a crowded tasting at Hospice DuRhone – that could have been a fluke.

The glass, on the other hand, delivered more than the nose promised.  The flavor was rich with dark fruits and good acids, both balanced for a lighter mouthfeel that goes down very easily. Being a Rhone-inspired blend, enjoying it with food is the best way to show it off, and given Dos Cabezas’ Southwestern location, try some grilled fajitas or carnitas tacos.

You can find more information about the winery and order wines at the website, doscabezaswinery.com

Celebrity Wine FAQ – Jimmy Smits

 

Jimmy Smits, courtesy NBC

Actor Jimmy Smits has a new show on NBC, premiering Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 10 p.m., called Outlaw.  You can read Anne’s review of it here.

 

Anne also got a chance to chat briefly with Smits last summer and asked him for a Wine FAQ, and chatted about Smits’ wine faves, in general.

“I’m not really a white wine drinker,” he said, explaining that white wines will give him a headache sometimes.    “But I like gewurtztraminer wines.”

Now, gewurz is often a fave with folks who like spicy foods, but Smits said he doesn’t really eat spicy foods.  He likes his gewurz with fish.  He likes his red wines, too.

“I love good Italian wines,” he said.  “Good Barolos or Barbarescos.”

Smits said he doesn’t have a cellar.  “I’ve got a crawl space.  A couple bottles that I keep down there to keep cool.”

His wine FAQ?

“My question is about the tannic quality of wines?  What determines whether it’s more or less?”

Our answer – Tannins are common in many plants and evolved as defense mechanisms so the plants wouldn’t get eaten.  Tea, for example, has a lot of tannin in it, and if you’ve ever drunk a cup of strong black tea and felt the inside of your mouth dry out – that’s the tannin in the tea.  With wine, you’ll usually come across that effect with a young strong red.

That’s because the tannins in wine come from the grape skins, seeds and stems.  White wines are usually made from grapes that are crushed, then pressed immediately into juice before fermenting, which means the juice has very little contact with the skins and seeds.  With red wines, the grapes are crushed, but the juice stays with the skins and seed (and hopefully not too many of the stems) until it’s fermented and then pressed.  Because tannins can help a wine age better and because the skin is where all the color is, winemakers will sometimes leave the freshly crushed grapes and juice to soak for a day or two before starting fermentation to get an extra boost of tannin and color.

However, tannins will generally lose their harshness as the wine ages.  Harsh tannins are short chained chemicals that can be visualized as short bristles on a toothbrush – imagine that on your skin.  As the tannins and wine age, the tannins re-form into longer chemical chains that are more like a makeup brush or powder puff on your skin. Doesn’t that feel better?  Which is why a well-made, well-aged wine will taste nice and mellow and its younger sibling just dries your mouth out.

 

More Heads are Better at Dos Cabezas

 

Mom Paula Bostock and Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas WineWorks

As if anyone needed reminding that wine is an agricultural product, subject to the vicissitudes of Mother Nature, wineries in South East Arizona got a potent reminder last month when a major hail storm pounded the stuffin’s out of their vineyards, ruining the entire crop for most of the growers, including the folks at Dos Cabezas WineWorks.

We’d been wanting to profile these guys since we ran into them at Hospice du Rhone last May (see picture).  Not only was the wine they were pouring exceedingly tasty, they’re a perfect OddBallGrape Winery.  They’re completely family-run and owned – in fact, one of the banner photos on their website features Kelly Bostock picking grapes with her baby in a tummy pack.  Even better, at HdR, Anne got to chat with winemaker and co-owner Todd Bostock’s mom, Paula.  And she is justifiably proud of her son.

We checked in with Todd Bostock shortly after the hail storm and he confirmed that he completely lost the grapes that were growing in his Pronghorn vineyard, near the winery and tasting room in Sonoita, Arizona.

“We’re not going to pick anything,” he said.  “It’s kind of disappointing and financially stressful, but it’s not going to bring us down.”

The reason why is that he does work with the Cimmaron vineyard in Wilcox, Arizona, that was not affected by the storm.  So while he’ll still be able to produce a goodly amount of wine, the loss of the Pronghorn grapes is going to hurt.

And, yeah, AZ may not seem like the best grape growing area in the world, but Bostock is producing some excellent wines.  You can find out more about the winery at the website, http://www.doscabezaswinery.com/index.html.  And friend them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dos.cabezas.