Lionheart Wines is another of the Winery's that stood out to me this fall at the Wine Blogger's Conference in Santa Rosa. So when the opportunity to taste through a few of their wines presented itself, I jumped at it. Leon C. Glover, the founder and winemaker, started the label to produce food friendly wines. Many winemakers strive for this goal. Since Leon is also a Chef it seems like an even more natural ambition. I'll look at three of his wines. Up first is a white Rhone style blend. The 2007 Angel's Share is made from fruit sourced at Saralee's Vineyard in Russian River Valley. The blend is 66% Marsanne, 33% Rousanne and 1% Viognier. This wine spent 8 months in close to neutral French oak. A mere 74 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $33.
Honeysuckle, lemon, pear and a host of spice notes such as white pepper and nutmeg burst from this wines effusive nose. There is a persistent core of fruit throughout the palate which is lush, soft and mouth filling. Lemon and orchard fruit flavors are the most notable along with some pineapple and guava. The finish is ever so lightly creamy with some hints of nut and vanilla. The wines acidity is excellent and this will be a great compliment to spicy Thai cuisine, as one example. It drinks phenomenally on its own and I wouldn't hesitate to let this wine stand by itself to impress your guests.
What I like best about this Rhone style blend is that it tastes a lot more complex than its $32 price tag. This boutique wine is a well made gem. While not made for long term aging this offering will improve for a couple of years and hold for a couple after that, certainly longer than the average California white. Well done by Lionheart Wines.
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