I recently received a wide range of samples from the Napa-based Rutherford Wine Company. They produce wines under eight different brands, and I'm grouping them like that.
First up is Silver Buckle Cellars, paying homage to the cattle farming background of the vineyards and decorated with an ornate silver belt buckle featuring a bull surrounded by grape leaves. I actually own a wide leather belt with a big buckle on it (featuring an angry buffalo, natch), but I don't often have occasion to wear it. Nor the handful of bolo ties I own, come to think of it.
2011 Silver Buckle Chardonnay
$18, 13.5% abv.
Tropical fruits with some floral notes on the nose, bright tartness and a round, slightly sweet mouthfeel. I had this with the Ethiopian dish doro wat mentioned in Friday's post. I found that the sweetness and acidity went well with the berbere and ginger heat.
2010 Silver Buckle Ranchero Red
Syrah, Merlot and Malbec
Central Coast, California
$20, 13.5% abv.
The bottle opens with lots of blueberries and a touch of spice. Big berry flavors continue on the palate with medium tannins and a short finish. This would be a perfect match with some fatty meat and a bit of char on it, like beef short ribs.
Note: These wines were received as samples.