A celebration of great Easter Reds!
NCWC EASTER BUNNY TASTING 4/6/12
PALI HUNTINGTON PINOT NOIR 2009
When it comes to famous rabbits, the Easter Bunny has lots of competition. Like Peter Cottontail. He’s famous for hopping down the bunny trail, which was probably preceded by a few glasses of this egg-celent Pinot. It boasts an alluring nose of strawberries and creme, rhubarb, tangy black cherry and a hint of maple syrup. On the palate, the fruit is decidedly forward, with mango and strawberry flavors underscored by white pepper spice and savory herb notes. Definitely better than jelly beans. 88 points Tobin Bros. $17.97.
FESTIVO MALBEC 2009
The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland is another famous hare. Some say Lewis Carroll was inspired by LSD when he wrote his psychedelic epic. Who knows, Malbec may have played a part, too. This one is done in a lighter style than you sometimes see, “showing cherry and plum hints, followed by a dash of blueberry on the open-knit finish.” Way, way better than those awful Peeps. 90 points Stephen Tanzer. $14.97.
RANCHO SIQUOC TRE VINI 2009
One of our more heroic fictional rabbits is Hazel from “Watership Down,” whose bravery, loyalty, and quick thinking saved his community. Rancho Sisquoc may not qualify as heroic, but they make pretty good wines, like this one. “The Petit Verdot in this blend gives a distinct aroma of concord grape and tones of licorice, cherry fruit and a nice mineral undertone. The Sangiovese lends a jazzy, red fruit component while the cabernet adds
layers of black fruit.” 88 points Jim Tobin. $14.97.
R WINERY “1448” BLEND 2010
On the other hand, a longstanding fictional anti-hero is John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, an undesirable character if ever there was one. This wine from the amazing Jeff Runquist is quite the opposite: it’s “aromas are of ripe black fruits, currant, cassis, and smoke, and its flavor profile is loaded with ripe blackberry and toasted wood flavors that add caramel and chocolate tones as counterpoints to its plush fruit.” Egg-stra tasty. $14.97.
AMIZETTA COMPLEXITY 2009
A sillier example is Harvey the invisible rabbit, from the Jimmy Stewart movie. Fortunately this wine is perfectly visible and absolutely delicious. Dark purple in the glass, it displays that amazing Amizetta nose of ripe red and black fruits and rich, loamy earth. Silky smooth flavors of raspberry, mulberry, black cherry and sweet oak might have you seeing invisible creatures too. Here’s hoping you find some of this in your basket. 89 points Jim Tobin. $19.97.
BECKMAN SYRAH 2009
One of my all-time favorites is Roger Rabbit, who proved that keeping a sense of humor – along with great elasticity – will get you through almost anything. A nice glass of wine doesn’t hurt, either. This Syrah “possesses dazzling purity and length in a cool, inward style. There is a level of delineation in the savory, fruit-filled aromas and flavors that is quite striking. A vein of minerality frames the inviting finish,” with spice and anise adding intrigue. If there’s a hollow egg big enough to hold a bottle, this might be the bottle to fill it with! 91 points Wine Advocate. $19.97.
SBRAGIA ZINFANDEL GINO’S VINEYARD 2009
Finally, the best rabbit of all – and I know I’m not alone in this – has gotta be Bugs Bunny. Bugs has appeared in more films than any other cartoon character, showing off his flippant personality since 1940 and never failing to torment Elmer Fudd. This Zinfandel is also pretty egg-ceptional. Classically styled Dry Creek Zin, its “aromas of wild raspberry and underbrush lead to rich but elegant flavors of black cherry, anise, and smoky cracked pepper.” 92 points Wine Spectator, 93 points Wine Enthusiast. $26.97.