The first time I tried the wines of Lander Jenkins Vineyards, I was making cactus tacos. It reminded me a bit of something that's been nagging me a bit, frankly the eating of "weird" food. I don't eat cactus to frighten people (though they may be honest in their reaction), nor do I do so to show off a willingness to eat everything, like library paste and dog fur. While I personally try non-mainstream meats and vegetables and fruits for my own intellectual curiosity and a love of varied flavors, at the end of the day I recognize that the weirdest thing I'll ever eat is the daily bread of some distant locale. It's what a mom makes for her family and what a kid requests on his birthday. Celebrate it, don't make a spectacle of it.
2011 Lander-Jenkins Spirit Hawk Chardonnay
99% Chardonnay, 1% Muscat Canelli
$15, 13.5% abv.
The Muscat really gives a nice depth to this wine, which is rich and full-bodied with a full bodied apricot flavor with some additional notes of tropical fruits and honey. Soft and supple with a very long finish. As a bird lover, is it bad to drink wine branded with a bird and served with a roasted bird? Nope. This was incredible with slow cooked duck thighs.
2010 Lander-Jenkins Cabernet Sauvignon
96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% each of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah
$15, 13.5% abv.
Black cherries and tobacco on the nose, with full fruit flavors and a touch of spice on the finish. Medium tannins with just a little toasty oak on the nose. A great match for thick cut pork chops topped with a cherry reduction sauce.
Note: These wines were received as samples.