Well, it's the first Saturday of the month so that must mean it's Cellar Saturday! That great time when I open a bottle of more mature wine just for the heck of it, and tonight I have a really special one for you, one that hasn't been in my cellar very long, but was reserved quite some time before release. I'm talking about the 2003 Reininger Desiderata, a fine blend of six varietals including Malbec (44%), Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), Petit Verdot (13%), Carmenere (10%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Merlot (4%) from some of Walla Walla's best vineyards. The wine is also unusual in that it was barrel aged for nearly 5 years and then aged in the bottle for another 2 1/2 years! Reininger made a wonderful short video on the making of this wine that appears on their website here: 2003 Desiderata that really does a nice job explaining the wine. So let's get tasting!
I decanted the wine and let it breathe for an hour or so before pouring. The wine is a lovely deep purple color in the glass with bright ruby along the edges. It has a nose that reminds you of the great Bordeaux blends from France, but there is also a level of earthy tones that no doubt is an expression of the Malbec. The nose has a great aroma of ripe plum, pomegranate and just a hint of tobacco. The taste is just marvelous, great fruit up front, cherry, black plum and cassis that transitions effortlessly to some dark chocolate and mocha notes midpalate. The tannins are just so graceful and well integrated that you don't even notice that you've finished a sip, yet you're still enjoying the long, smooth and elegantly dry finish. Every bit of this wine is like watching the performance of a graceful dancer, every move has it's purpose and adds a layer to the story unfolding before your eyes, and when you're finished you have to marvel at the experience.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9.5, it's one of the greatest wines I've had from Walla Walla, though it's not cheap, I think it's worth every penny of the $85 I spent on it! Tonight I am enjoying it with a nice grilled porterhouse, baked potato and some fresh steamed asparagus, but really, I could just have this wine for dinner and enjoy it just as much! What a testament to the vision of a great winemaker. Cheers!