Tried this last night w/ our BacchusBadBoys:
1. VARA Vina Cardinal NM Apertif Wine (17%; ListanPrieto/Mission; Albq NV: Burnished bronze color; very fumey/alcoholic/hot nose that dominates what little Mission fruit that's there; very hot/burning alcoholic/fumey slightly off-dry flavor w/ no fruit I could find; short burning alcohol/fumey/searing hot finish w/ no fruit; a hot/burning alcoholic mess & pretty much undrinkable; when you start to pour a taste in your mouth, the searing alcohol hits your palate like a blowtorch; no resemblance to Angelica whatsoever unless this is what Angelica back in the mid-1600's was like. $25.00/500 ml
More billerbost from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. VARA is a new wnry in Albq. It has a Spanish connection & imports a bunch of Spanish wines in bulk to finish here in NM. Plus also gets grapes/wine out of Calif & Wash State. In addition to Sparkling & table wines, they make a few distillates & vermouths. Laurent Gruet is consulting winemaker for the sparklers. BobLindquist & Louisa Sawyer-Lindquist are also consulting winemakers.
Laura is doing a Pig+Fig luncheon during SFW&CF of the VARA wines, so we tasted thru some of them over the last week. The two sparklers were pleasant enough, but rather on the lightweight side. The dry whites were varietally correct but rather on the lightweight side bordering on vapid. The reds were a little more interesting, but nothing to write home about. Laura is going to have to do her magic in the kitchen to rescue this luncheon.
We also tried the Dulce Vermut. The intensity of the botanicals used pretty much dominated everything & not very much fun to drink on its own.
But this Cardinal was one I particularly wanted to try. It is billed as a tribute to the first making of Mission wine back in the 1600's. It was made off the skins, fermented slightly, then fortified to bring it up to 17% alcohol. I would love to know what the fortified brandy was like. This was the most alcoholic wine I've ever tasted, even more alcoholic than drinking EverClear. When you'd start to pour a taste in your mouth, this blast of searing alcohol would hit your mouth and cause you to choke. It was a real struggle to swallow down a taste. Totally undrinkable as a wine. Maybe useful to starting a NM wildfire in the forest, but simply not a beverage to drink.
Did I mention that I didn't like this wine??

Edited by TomHill (09-02-2022 11:34:20)