A while back I featured some great warm weather white wines from Europa Village, the Temecula Valley’s newest boutique winery. There were just too many wines worthy of recognition in their line for me to cover in one post, so today we are revisiting them to talk about their reds.
We will be talking about three wines today. As I mentioned in my previous post, Europa Village is not one winery, but three smaller boutique wineries, each devoted to the wine style of a different country. Three of today’s wines come from their French style winery, C’est La Vie, and the remaining two are by Bolero, Europa Village’s tribute to Spain. At the time of my visit their Italian style winery, Vienza, had just recently bottled their reds and they were not yet available for tasting, so unfortunately today’s post will not include their Sangiovese or their Super Tuscan style blend.
Wine 1: Europa Village: Bolero 2007 California Tempranillo
There are two things about Bolero’s Tempranillo that make it very unique. In California, for a wine to list only a single grape variety on the label, at least 75% of that wine must be that varietal. This wine is quietly actually a blend of 77% Tempranillo and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. The other thing that I find special about it is that it is only 13.6% alcohol, an indicator of the Europa Village mission to create easy drinking, food friendly wines The aroma of this wine is very ripe, with plenty of red fruit tones and an interesting gaminess. Raspberry sauce, plum reduction, cacao powder, and licorice all come together to create a fascinatingly earthy and ripe aroma.
Soft and smooth on the palate, this is a supple wine with light, dusty tannins. Vineyard dust and crushed raspberry show at first, with some crushed plum and rosemary flowers around the edges. There is also a softly oaky quality, some lasting white pepper, and just a hint of hazelnut. Very true to the varietal, this is also a clearly Californian wine, creating something pleasantly unique.
Worth Trying. 88 points.
Wine 2: Europa Village: Bolero 2007 California “Libido”
Libido is Europa Village’s take on a traditional Spanish red blend. Tempranillo, the dominant varietal in this blend, contributes bright red fruit tones and a complex earthiness. Grenache, called Garnacha in Spain, adds a plushness to the mouthfeel, while Mourvedre (called Monastrell) and Carignane (called Mazuelo) contribute spicy, dusty, earth tones. Crushed dark raspberries dominate this wine’s aroma, with some interesting tamarind notes, and a bit of dark pomegranate as well. Subtle vanilla, kitchen herbs, and rosemary bush create a sweet smelling, appealingly earthy nose. The palate is ripe, soft, and medium bodied with dusty tannins. Cacao powder, pomegranate seeds, vineyard dust, and dark raspberries show clearly at this wine’s core. Very soft pine needle tones, and just a touch of cappuccino add further depth to the flavor profile. This is an interesting wine with a very pleasant balance of flavors.
Worth Trying. 89 points
Wine #3: Europa Village: C’est La Vie 2007 Temecula Valley Syrah
Of all the wines that I tasted while I was at Europa Village this is the only one that is made using enough Temecula Valley grown fruit to be labeled a Temecula wine. Although it is the goal of Europa Village to eventually produce wines primarily from their own estate grown fruit, the young age of their newly planted vines is presently the reason that all their other wines are made with fruit sourced from other parts of California. This interesting exception gives us a look into the future of Europa Village and a taste of what they can do with their own home grown grapes. Cranberry and red raspberry tones show on the nose, with red plum, lavender bush, and some cacao powder also showing through. A spin in the glass reveals an interesting herbal note, somewhere between menthol and thyme. The palate is ripe, perfumed, and full of red raspberry flavors. Red plum, very soft violets, some orange peel, and a bit of dried berries all make an appearance as well. This is an interesting wine, with good complexity and a pleasant freshness.
Worth Trying. 90 points.