Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buoncristiani "O.P.C" ’07 ($38-$41)

Napa, CA

I tried this wine with some good friends last week at a pleasant water front restaurant called Café Del Rey in Marina Del Rey, CA.  The wine list had a nice variety of selections and I was in the mood for something new and different.  Well, new and different turned into a great wine I couldn’t help but talk about.

As some of you know from my past write ups, I really like red blends.  So naturally, I migrated to the “Meritage” section on the wine list.  I was intrigued with the varietals shown on this wine (Cab. Sauv., Syrah & Merlot)… I think they left out Malbec.  Our server also recommended it over another selection I was considering so this helped sway my decision.

With the blend being 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 10% Malbec, the wine showed off a dense purple color.  On the aromas blackberries, plums, black pepper spice and something that reminded me of an oven-roasted beef tenderloin came together nicely.  It was a pleasing, warm scent highlighted by subtle oak as well.  This might explain the barrel aging for 21 months on French oak. 

My first taste was somewhat dry and spicy which led me to believe we should let our glasses open up a bit.  We probably should have asked to decant it but it didn’t need much time to open in the glass.  On the following tastes plums and dark berries came out with a hint of soft vanilla.  I’d say this was a full-bodied wine with medium-dry tannins.  On the finish that meaty aroma led to what could have been hints of leather and tobacco but nothing too overwhelming.  

My dinner selection of Palomillo lamb went very tasty with this wine and I could see it going great with other grilled meats. It was a great new find for my friends, Michael & Shelly and myself.  I hope you find it out there for sale or at your favorite restaurant.  I commend the Buoncristiani brothers for making a very nice red blend to add to my favorites list.  It’s a fairly small production wine with 2,025 cases for 2007 yet I’ve seen a few online retailers still selling it.

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