*disclaimer – I was sent this bottle of wine by Twisted Oak Winery as a media sample
River of Skulls, wow what a name for a wine. The name alone (besides the daunting Skull on the bottle) immediately congers up images from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You know the scene, it is the one in the fire pit where the guys heart is been ripped out of his chest. Well never fear the 2006 Twisted Oak River of Skulls won’t rip your heart out per se until you are deeply saddened by the fact that you have reached the end of the bottle.
Twisted Oak Winery is located in Vallecito California in Caleveras County where lead pirate El Jefe crafts some booty worthy wines in their top-notch gravity flow facility. Grapes coming to the wine come from any of the 13 vineyards that Twisted Oak either owns are partners with in the surrounding area. Although being pirates by nature I am not sure if they pay the other vineyards for their grapes or just loot them by moonlight. J
Coming from the wineries Dalton vineyard that lies near the Calaveras River (River of Skulls) the wine is comprised of 90% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. After harvest the Skulls went through a 19 month oak program consisting of 40% New French, 10% New Eastern European, and 50% Neutral Oak.
Nose – Tobacco, red currant, cranberry sauce, spiced meat
Taste – Cedar, blackberry, boysenberry, herbs, leather
Mouthfeel – medium body, decent acidic backbone, leathery tannins
Finish – slightly spicy, long with red currant flavors lingering
Until death do us part my dear Skulls! This wine was a rocking blend of dark fruit and earthy, meaty goodness. The tobacco on the nose was really powerful which I love, so that got me jazzed from the get go. The tannins were still a little firm, so this would probably be tasting even better in another few years, if I can hold on to my other bottle for that long. We ate this with Tofu Parmesan which I am sure will not be the pairing for most of my readers but El Jefe recommends Lamb and Pork (and dead people) as other good pairing options, but it did go very nicely with our dinner. Also, the Skulls bottle will make an excellent candle holder for all of your spooky Haloween parties.
If you dare, run on over to Twisted Oaks webpage so you can get on their mailing list to purchase a case or two of the River of Skulls. Also make sure to check out El Jefe’s winery blog El Bloggo Toricido for all the action at the winery.