One of the best wines that I have come across over the past few years is by far the reserve bottling of Muirwood Cabernet Sauvignon Vaquero Vineyard. Muirwood is located in Monterey County, California, and lies within the Arroyo Seco AVA. Arroyo Seco is situated near the Pacific Ocean and because of its proximity this AVA has a cool climate and is known for its gravelly soil that absorbs heat during the day and radiates that heat in the evening, preventing the grapes from freezing at night.
Muirwood Vineyards is family owned and each wine is crafted from hand-selected grapes and vinified with precision and grace. Their portfolio is well rounded with several varietals, including another reserve offering of Chardonnay. Back to the Vaquero: This wine is a layering of only the very best lots of Cabernet on the property displaying exceptional qualities. A few offerings from Muirwood worth spending some time with:
Muirwood Cabernet Reserve Vaquero Vineyard: Aromas and flavors of chocolate, mint and vanilla. Ripe, supple tannins extend through the long finish. Serve with top loin of beef or a savory lamb stew. This wine spends 18 months in the finest French and American oak barrels. This wine is by far the greatest value in Cabernet under $20.
Muirwood Chardonnay Reserve Zanetta Vineyard: This Reserve Chardonnay has aromas of tropical fruit laced with cornice pear and white peach, and a creamy oaky mouthfeel. There are hints of vanilla and melon, followed with buttered popcorn and caramel wrapped up with fruit medley. The Zanetta is much more subtle than the standard Chardonnay by Muirwood and is the quintessential buttery characteristic of a great California Chardonnay but the oak is used in a much more refined way, gracefully integrated lending balance to the finish.
Again, both of these wines will surprise you with both their depth and complexity but most of all for their price tag… You’re welcome.
Heather Burton, Wine & Spirits Supervisor
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