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The Skull Red Wine 2021 is organic and blends 60% Zinfandel, 30% Petite Sirah, and 10% Mission sourced from Mendocino and Santa Barbara vineyards. This brand is from Patrick Cappiello (who owns Monte Rio Cellars) and Pax Mahle (Pax Wines).
Patrick Cappiello is an ex-skate punk, hence the Skull imagery, and an award-winning Sommelier who has worked at the Tribeca Grill and the Walnut Street Cafe. He has one Sommelier of the Year from various publications. Pax Mahle is a leading Syrah producer.
The Skull Red Wine 2021 is organically grown and while Zinfandel and Petite Sirah are often blended, the Mission grape is the wild card. The Mission grape was brought to California by Spanish Missionaries as Communion wine. It is probably the first wine grape brought to California, but is mostly forgotten today. San Luis Obispo still has Mission vineyards and it looks like either Mendocino or Santa Brabar have some too.
The Skull Red Wine 2021 low volume (7,200 bottles) hand-made wine. The grapes are hand-picked in whole clusters (stems and twigs are kept with the grapes). The grapes undergo carbonic maceration and then are pressed into stainless steel vats and concrete vats for fermentation. Natural yeast (the yeast that floats in the air) and not commercial yeast is used from fermentation.
The wine is then aged in old barrels for 10 months. The old barrel no longer gives off oak flavoring, but wine aged in old oak barrels has subtle differences from wine aged in stainless steel vats. The alcohol content is an old-school 12.5%.
This is a limited-production hand-made wine that I was able to find for $15 on sale, not all value-priced wines are large-production factory wines.
The Skull Red Wine 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is cranberry red with black highlights. The nose is intense raspberry, herbs, spice, licorice, cherry, and a hint of smoke. The Skull Red Wine 2021 is sleek and interesting.
This Red Blend tastes like black cherry mixed with exotic spice, tea, black licorice, and cooling plum. The mid-palate shows pomegranate, a little cream (not sure where that comes from, maybe they stirred the less), and extracted blackberry.
The tannins are sweet, and the acidity gives a boost to the flavors and allows the flavors to linger.
- The Skull Red Wine 2021 is an interesting, delicious wine that is well worth seeking out.
- I have always said that I have never had a bad wine with a skull or skeleton on the label and it looks like I am right again.