Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Eagle & Rose is a winery that TWC was not familiar with until recently and I may have never run across it except that the wine came as a gift from Mrs TWC's father last Thanksgiving.
My father-in-law is one of those redneck guys who lives on five acres in the foothills of North California that Hank Williams sang about in Country Boy Can Survive so it surprised me when he showed up with nearly three cases of wine, duct taped closed and covered with dust and grease smudges (probably axle grease or chainsaw oil, or both). Well, the duct tape wasn't a surprise I guess. And yes, he can skin a buck (his nickname is Buck) and field dress it faster than you can get to Safeway (never, ever eat anything at Buck's house without finding out what it is first). No homemade wine, though he does make pretty decent jam. God only knows how he came up with wine, probably swapped it for tractor parts or a load of firewood.
Anyway, mixed into those cases of wine were several bottles of Eagle & Rose Syrah and Eagle & Rose Cabernet. Both are quite good but the Syrah may be past it's prime so for now we'll just talk about the Cabernet.
Eagle & Rose is located in the Pope Valley region of Napa Valley (well, Howell Mountain is in the way), but the wine was done in a distinctively Bordeaux style. Pretty certain the 2000 is 100% Cabernet and it's estate grown and bottled. The wine is bone dry with a nice balance. It puts me in the mind of shades of gray (how's that for terminology?). Not dull relentless gray but beautiful hues of gray. Think gray is my favorite color as in Counting Crows Mr Jones.
Not working? Okay, it's a gorgeous hue of deep ruby running to garnet in color. In keeping with Old World style, the black fruit is well integrated and more subdued than many California Cabs. A little oak, a little pencil lead, a little tobacco (see the shades of gray?), a little earthy, a little blackberry on the back side (lingering finish for you actual wine connoisseurs). The guy Buck got this wine from told him this is a wine you won't be ashamed to serve and he was more than right. This is an elegant wine.
Here at Casa de las Rocas Grande we harvest our own mesquite for grilling and the Eagle & Rose Cab was perfect with the rib-eye and baked potatoes (served with sour cream and fresh chives from the garden). Mrs TWC sauteed asparagus with lemon, butter, and those things that are sort of a cross between onions and garlic (*CRS, sorry) along with sliced sourdough topped with a little butter, fresh rosemary, and mozzarella. Slide it under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown and you're done.
*Shallots! They're shallots.