This is the wine you need for Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and maybe for all the sinners on your list: Twisted Oak’s River of Skulls, a mourverde with a little syrah thrown in.
Not just because the bottle itself is impressive. Which it is–the graphic was created by El Jefe’s son Andrew Stai when he was 16, with all that intensity for which 16 year old boys are known. (Andrew, by the way, has made it to 20). The punt of the bottle is sensually curved and ribbed, asking you to run your finger around its rim. The shape of the bottle itself calls out to be held, grabbed, carressed, and slugged. Really. It is the perfect wine for a pirate and begs for a candle when it is downed and out.
I first tasted this wine with El Jefe at Doug Cook’s birthday celebration at the Wine Blogger’s Conference last weekend at Santa Rosa. We were talking between pours and he pointed out the bottle which I’d been admiring for awhile, not even knowing it was his wine, or a mourverde (recall my fondness for Quivira’s? Or even better, the RBJ 2002 theologicum mataro? Now that’s a wild wine…)
So El Jefe opened it up lickety split and poured. Considering the powerful wines that had crossed my palate from Doug Cook’s cellar that night, it stood its ground (of course, mourverdre will do that for me!) There was a some left in the bottle so El Jefe let me take it home–lucky me!
It was the first red wine I enjoyed when I returned–with a dinner of cioppino and brown rice and a salad with blue cheese, walnut, and apple. Some lovely musky earth and spice balances the fresh lively raspberries. Certainly enough to wake the dead or to serve them on your altar. Saints and sinners will appreciate this offering.
This is a special creature, this wine. Sorry to say that unless you have a trip planned to Calaveras county, you’re out of luck. You can get on the list now for next year! Sign up here.