Intense ripe cherry aromas dominate this bouquet. It is elegant, fresh and concentrated, presenting a superb natural acidity that will allow this wine to be cellared for many years. The soft tannins render a persistent, generous finish.
Wine Spectator 88 points - This fruit-driven red is marked by a core of dark cherry fruit, backed by light tannins and an aftertaste of iron and licorice. Drink now. 400 cases made.-NW
(Jun 15 2013)
Wine Enthusiast 89 points - This is dark, rubbery and wild on the nose, with a heavy dose of chocolaty oak. It feels crisp due to its high acidity, but also feels raring to go. The flavors of blackberry and plum are snappy and dry, while the finish is driven by the acidity. It will age well; drink now-2016.
Vinous 91 points - Brilliant ruby. Sexy, smoke- and spice-tinged aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, violet and cola. Bitter cherry and cassis flavors gain sweetness with air, picking up notes of vanilla and black pepper. Sweet and seamless on the persistent finish, with the cherry and vanilla notes echoing. There are little bits of carmenere and malbec mixed among the carignan vines in this dry-farmed, granitic site, which was planted in the early 1950s. -- Josh Raynolds
The 2009 Single Vineyard “El Leon” Carignan comes from the 1.5 hectare, dry farmed single vineyard that is then aged for 15 months in used French oak barrels. It has a pure bouquet with strawberry pastille and blood orange aromas, while the palate is well defined with saturated tannins, supple black cherry and raspberry fruit that lead to a sappy, generous finish. It lacks complexity for the price, but is well made. Drink now-2014.