Monday, April 4, 2011
Dos Cabezas WineWorks: Two heads are better than one.
He worked the vines (as a volunteer no less) and absorbed everything he could about the entire process, and that solidified an already growing love for making wine. He soon became the winemaker after only a year. So in 2006 a chance to buy the vineyard and the winery name came along and he, his wife and his parents said, why not? They then had themselves a winery and some established grapevines to boot. And wine drinkers everywhere should be happy he did because he is making some truly great stuff. Not great for your first effort stuff, but some truly remarkable wines that will only get better as both he and the vines evolve. He is a natural.
Todd has tons of information on his website about Dos Cabezas and it's history so if you would like to know more about him, his family, and their endevours check it out. Since he has his own distributor his wines can be found in a number of local stores, including BevMo!, AJ's fine foods, and TotalWine, as well as your local wine shop. He is also on a number of restaurant wine lists including FnB in Scottsdale, where they just hosted a winemakers dinner on the 22nd of March. If you are interested in ordering a bottle, Dos Cabezas has a list of the states where they have a license for shipments on their website.
Dos Cabezas is still a boutique winery with a low production rate, but the prices are very competitive considering what a California winery would charge for the same product and production. "My wines are a great value, and unbelievably under priced for the quality you get," explains Todd. He goes on to say, "I try to give people what they pay for. We have solid wines for what we charge." I asked if he surprises people with his wines as he gets alot of visitors from out of town places like Michigan, Illinois, and other cold weather states (the busiest time of year for all the wineries is March and February aka- the snow bird migration) he said, "Yes it takes alot of people by surprise, because the stigma of low quality junk wine is still out there, it takes time to change and open minds, but you have to back it up with great wine. And that is what we are doing, not just me but as a state." And I could not agree more.
Todd uses mostly French oak barrels with some Hungarian and American depending on what favor he wants to impart in the wine. His signature wine right now is the Toscano, and the El Norte both are blends. Like most of the AZ wineries blends make up most of the bottles, just because that is what does best with our soil and hey, Kent Callaghan is doing it and having a tremendous amount of success so why reinvent the wheel. So now on to my tasting notes.
I will first include the winemakers notes that you receive at the winery, followed by my interpretations.
Tastings cost, $10 which includes a glass, or $5 if you have a glass from another winery - this is standard for all the wineries.
(disclosure: my tastings were provided as samples for this blog)
All but two wines on the list came from AZ grapes
1. 2010 Meskeoli New Release : 125 cases. $28.00 A co fermented blend of Viognier, Reisling, Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc, Malvasia Biance, and Muscat. This wine did some time (about 6 months) in 2 different vessels- a new 500L French oak barrel and a 600L concrete tank. Super fresh, super fun.
Nose: tropical fruit, slight citrus, good acid tingle
Taste: Creamy, sharp acid yet smooth, Viognier really adds a nice creamy backdrop to this unusual and interesting blend. A great start, made me thirsty for more!
2. 2010 Pink! New Release seasonal wine 200 cases. $18.00: We have a new Pink again! A 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Primitivo from the Cimarron Vineyard near Wilcox. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Intensely delicate and aromatic nose with major watermelon jolly rancher, cantaloupe and fennel flavors in the mouth. A surprisingly versatile dining companion.
Nose: Rose pedals, watermelon juice, very interesting nose for sure, almost like dry leaves too.
Taste: Very interesting finish, wine changes alot in your mouth and the finish lingers on the palette. It is a dry Rose no sticky sweet junk here! You defiantly get the jolly rancher, but the Primivito gives the wine a nice juicy stone fruit mouth feel. A great picnic and summer wine. I am using this one for my 1 bottle/2 meals series.
3. 2009 Red $18.00. The 2009 Red is mostly Grenache. a super friendly wine that is great for sharing during the holidays. Crystalline red fruits on the nose and in the mouth. Opens slowly to reveal subtle bite of darker fruits and carmel. Very textural and persistent, longing to exchange oral occupation with celebratory foods.
Nose: strawberry, slight earthy quality, with a tickle of tannin
Posted by Renee Keele