Our Tragic Wine
Yes, we have a tragic wine. No, not a bad vintage, or corked, or just plain awful tasting… in fact, the only thing tragic about this wine is its name. While not named for it, our La Bohème shares a name with the famous opera by Puccini- while not necessarily a tragedy, like so many operas, it has a very sad ending. SPOILER ALERT (oops, was I too late with that?). Actually, as far as awards season goes for 2015, it’s been anything but a tragedy. Hot on the heels of a gold medal from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, we just found out our 2011 La Bohème received a 90 from the Wine Enthusiast! Hmm, if we’re going Puccini, maybe Turandot would be a better choice for a name- though, doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?
Totally lost now with my operatic comparisons? Just Google it…(that’s what I had to do)
Ok, back to the true topic at hand- wine, not opera. Our 2011 La Bohème is a Bordeaux blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Typically, when you think of the Foothills, heat and Zinfandel come to mind. However, our elevation at Naggiar allows us to produce some impressive Bordeaux varietals. The Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot grow very well here- they need the UV exposure to ripen, the heat to mitigate the tannins, and our great soil to provide ideal drainage. All that is needed is the all-important canopy management to provide enough shade to prevent the fruit from getting overripe, thus imparting the dreaded flab to the resulting wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, requires a little more spot-specific growing conditions. Cabernet Sauvignon grows best where there is a lot of sun, good drainage, BUT, it needs to be able to cool down at night- which is where our elevation helps in the matter. To further enhance that aspect, our Cab Sauv is planted in the coolest part of the vineyard. The scores and awards we’re receiving are doing a good job of showing that, yes, we can grow high quality Bordeaux varietals in the Sierra Foothills!
So, what does a tragic wine taste like, and what in the world do you pair with it? La Bohème has aromas of black raspberries, currants, bay leaf and black plums. These flavors translate to the palate, but are finished off with lingering flavors of vanilla, mocha, and chocolate truffles (hey, chocolate truffles make anything seem less tragic). Good acidity and big, mature tannins round out this unique wine. La Bohème pairs best with a slow roast beef- or if you are short on time- a quick grilled steak. And, with Easter around the corner, it excellent with a rack of lamb. If you’re not quite up to a full meal, it goes quite nicely with Camembert or Gorgonzola. It would also most certainly pair well with some salty tears over the plight of Mìmi and Rodolfo…
As it is a premium blend, not much was made… and to miss out on this beautiful wine, well that would truly be tragic!