Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards2003 Castello Nuovo, Estate
Castello Nuevo means “new house” in Spanish, and was initially created as a wedding wine for winemaker Dr. Ricardo Aguirre’s beautiful and elegant daughter Sylvia, who handles all the marketing and sales for the small but amazing winery on the outskirts of Livermore.
The wine’s nose is tight, with traces of Cabernet and Zinfandel, like tigers crouching in their cages, ready to pounce. It invites you to keep inhaling (yes, it’s safe), so you can pick up all the hints of what might be waiting for you on the palate. Sniffing blends is a lot like detective work. It’s especially fun if you don’t peek at the blend combo so you’re not biased in your interpretation.
Whether you peek or not, you can really sense the muscular undercurrent of this wine. Surprisingly, the initial flavors are bright berries, mostly raspberry, with some tar, sundried tomato, grains of paradise, cinnamon stick, ham and basil. Does that sound complex enough for you? This is for sure a stew of a wine that keeps unfolding new flavor secrets as it airs out. So nice is the blend of fruit and spice, all layered nicely in a pleasing lasagna-strata of flavors and textures. In one mouthful, you can experience big, ripe cherries (from the Merlot) and baked ham (from the Syrah), and in the next, the Zin will come forward to make an appearance, with lots of ripe, dusty blackberry flavors. The Cab seems to contribute the stuffing and the ripe sundried tomato and grains of paradise (a very gamey spice/herb combo) and the Petite adds a nice, velvety depth. This wine was aged for almost 30 months in mostly new oak, and it really shows the care with which it was thoughtfully crafted. Yep, all in all, a really well-made wine: you can be confident it will go with just about anything you will encounter on the menu of a Spanish, Mexican or Southwest-style restaurant.
(Alc: 14%, Retail: $35)
Reviewed December 19, 2006 by Laura Ness.
Other reviewed wines from Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards
Winery: Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.