Corvidae “The Keeper” Cabernet Franc (2012)

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20141112_204035Corvidae “The Keeper” 

Cabernet Franc

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Washington State: Columbia Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $15 

What they say about it:

“The Keeper is an incredible value; it’s plush and full-bodied, and is approachable now but will age beautifully. Perfectly ripened grapes give this wine notes of savory spices, cigar box and black fruits. On the palate, a rich mouthful of blackberry, cassis and black tea commingle with a velvety, luscious mouthfeel and a long, generous finish.”

What I say about it:

Keeping with my Fall related wine picks, I stumbled on “The Keeper” from Corvidae with it’s bold label featuring a red eyed raven and had to give it a try. I don’t drink Cabernet Franc that often. No particular reason why and after trying “The Keeper” I need to try more.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

“The Keeper” is a big lush wine with a garnet to plum color. Short legs in the glass but very bright and clean. The nose is full of fruit, cherries, blackberries with a smoky note and spice, particularly clove with some oak. The taste is equally big and full of plums, Bing Cherries, fresh ripe fruit with slight oak. I also noted a slight peat, moss and earthiness with some cocoa. The finish is very long and there is a lingering velvety quality. Very soft and well balanced fruit. Complex yet clean.

“The Keeper” will match great with Chevre and other goat cheeses as well as Aged Gouda and Parmesan, and a sweet Gorgonzola. For heartier meals, this will go well with red meats, especially any grilled, salmon, and even Mexican.

Would Bukowski drink it? It’s all in a name, and this one’s a Keeper for sure

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS

4-BUKS

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Corvidae “Rook” (2012)

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2012 RookCorvidae “Rook”

Red Blend:  52% Merlot / 43% Cabernet Sauvignon / 5% Syrah

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Washington State: Columbia Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $15

What they say about it:

“The Rook’ 2012 was made to showcase the world-class Merlot grown in the cooler, higher elevation sites located in the Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley. The wine was aged in mostly neutral French oak to enhance the rich flavors from an exceedingly stellar vintage.”

What I say about it:

Being October and the season of all things Halloween, I was drawn to the striking image of a crow by artist David Ladmore on the label of the 2012 Rook from Corvidae Winery. Ladmore’s artist statement states “My work is a response to the beauty and simplicity of the things I find around me. In figure and landscape, careful study reveals the undercurrents and rhythms of existence.”. This sounds like an appropriate outlook for wine-making and wine tasting as well.

So without further waxing poetic, out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the 2012 Rook is a bright plum purple. Clear to the edge and full of vibrant hues. Medium to long legs due to the 14.1% alcohol content. The nose of the wine is smoky with oak in the forefront with touches of tobacco, spice, cherries, wet earth and stone with cocoa on top. Very pleasant and warming. Perfect for this time of the year when the nights get a little crisper. The taste is peppery but again with the French oak and cherry in the forefront followed by other red fruits (raspberry) as well as leather, smoke, slight clove and currants. The finish is medium to long as well as slightly dry with lingering soft well developed tannins.

Being a devote Merlot hater (blame Sideways), I was surprised after tasting to discover the blend was 52% Merlot. I had guessed higher Syrah but lower Cab percentages. Perhaps the notes from the winery on the cooler, higher elevation create a more appealing Merlot to my palate, since I usually find them to be bland and too predictable. The Cab and Syrah that balance out the remaining blend also make the Rook a very drinkable and enjoyable red blend. Easily recommended and a good deal for under $20.

For pairings, the 2012 Rook would go nicely with slightly drier cheeses (Manchego, Grana Padana) as well as robut soft cheeses (Blue, Gorganzola, Cambozola) and of course any salted cured meats (salami, prosciutto, etc.); but what doesn’t?

Notes on the Winery:

Corvidae is Owen Roe’s value-driven second label. Much of the fruit for Corvidae is sourced from Owen Roe’s 280-acre Outlook Vineyard. David O’Reilly is meticulous in the winery and in the vineyard for both Owen Roe and Corvidae.

More info on Corvidae Winery.

Would Bukowski drink it?   I would certainly end up forever crying the blues into a coffee cup in a park for old men playing chess or silly games of some sort. So Rook to Knight blah-blah-blah – give me another glass. 

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS

4-BUKS