Uncorked Ventures Blog

Mark Aselstine
November 7, 2012 | Mark Aselstine

Core Wine Company 2007 Hard Core

Included in this month's Wine Exploration Wine Club Shipment:
Core Winery
2007 Hard Core
900 Cases Produced
$29 Retail
Re-Order for $(hey some stuff is for members only)


Winery Tasting Notes:
A blend of primarily Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a small amount of Grenache. 100% of the fruit is from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard at 3000 feet in Santa Barbara County. From low yielding vines impeccably farmed year after year. The wine was aged for 30 months in a combination of 10% new French and American barrels and 90% neutral barrels. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration. A hugely popular wine with consumers and critics. Long fermentations and barrel ageing for maximum flavor development and complexity. It hits all of the points on the palate, dark and brooding to fit its name. Enjoy this wine now or age it for 5-10 years.

Critics Notes:
Rhone Report: February 2010 - 91+ A blend of of 37% Mourvèdre, 33% Cabernet, 26% Syrah and 4% Grenache, the 2007 Core Hard Core is a serious wine with deep, rich aromas of black cherry, earth, subtle smoked meats and hints of coffee grinds. The palate is medium bodied with rich, layered fruit, vibrant acidity and a moderately tannic, long finish. I’m a fan, and the wine’s purity and balanced character make it enjoyable to drink, even at this young stage. I think it will fill in on the mid-palate and be even better in a year or two.


Why We Chose the 2007 Hard Core:
Quite simply, we were intrigued by going back to showcase Santa Barbara County and it’s new found focus on Rhone varietals.  Of course, there is some trickle down from Paso Robles happening and the massive success of Rhone varietals on the central coast in general-but Santa Barbara is decidedly more than Pinot Noir, no matter what you might see in the movies.  Both Matt and I found this specific wine to be expressive on the nose, as well as offering an interesting mix of structure (provided by the Cabernet and Syrah) as well as finesse.  Unlike so many higher alcohol blends tend to be unapproachable, I’d think that our customers will be shocked to see an alcohol content at 14.9%.  Frankly, the wine doesn’t seem like the alcohol is coming in at that level and gives another example of alcohol content hardly telling the entire story about a wine. While I agree with the Rhone Report that a bit of patience would benefit this wine, it is, in my opinion at least, a deeper wine which stands up well with food as well as by itself.  Lastly, Dave Core, the owner and winemaker deserves a mention here.  He was not only willing to work with us to have his wine featured in our Wine Exploration Club, but has created the type of winery that we enjoy supporting.  Core Wine Company produces a range of wines from great vineyards in and around Santa Barbara and given that a phone call to the winery is often answered by Dave or his wife, definitely is family owned and operated.  We think you’ll agree, the quality is top notch as well.

Time Posted: Nov 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Mark Aselstine
July 26, 2012 | Mark Aselstine

Horse and Plow Harvester Red 2010

In this month's Wine Exploration Wine Club shipment we're happy to feature the 2010 Harvester Red by Horse and Plow winery of Santa Rosa.

Opened by the husband and wife team of Chris Condos and Suzanne Hagins, both of whom have been making wine in Sonoma for more than a decade each, Horse and Plow focuses on organically grown grapes and using the most natural winemaking techniques possible.

The Harvester Red wine is an interesting blend for a few reasons, but we thought it was a nice introduction for our club members to a Carignane and Syrah blend (although there is also smaller amounts of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Charbono and Grenache).

Carignane is the interesting grape here for many people, since most wine drinkers aren't familiar with the grape.  The grape isn't often made into varietal specific wines, but instead is used in blends often to add the dark maroon color which is so evident in this wine.  Personally, I think this wine does a nice job at being drinkable and enjoyable even without food, which is often a challenge at this price point, with these grapes which can be overextracted and carry too much alcohol at times.


Time Posted: Jul 26, 2012 at 8:32 AM