Just in time for the holiday season, Cindy Cosco — owner and winemaker of Passaggio Wines — is about to release 7 new red wines. In fact, if you’re in the area, you should join Cindy for her Fall Holiday Wine Release Party this coming November 11 and 12. But, if you just can’t wait for something amazing from this passionate winemaker, then you’re going to want to connect with this red blend — available to purchase and ready to drink — now!
I present to you Passaggio Wines 2015 Connect Red Blend…
About the Wine: The Passaggio Wines 2015 Connect Red Blend is made from 69% Merlot 23%, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 8% Petite Verdot, sourced from the Coplan Vineyards in the Carneros AVA of Sonoma County. A boutique, organic vineyard, all the grapes were harvested by hand.
Once in Cindy’s hand, vineyard lots were fermented and aged separately, final blending occurring just before bottling.
Flavor Profile: Pop the cork of the Passaggio Wines 2015 Connect Red Blend and breathe in the fun-filled aromas of black olives, plump plums, and damp, fertile soil. No need to decant this Bordeaux-style red blend — Cindy’s style is ready to drink reds, and the Connect is no exception. The wine pours from bottle to glass like a thick stream of muddy waters — already so voluptuous and aromatic as it flows. In the glass, it’s center color is the definition of maroon, fading toward a rusty rouge along the perimeter of the tilted bowl.
Initial aromas are of flush green herbs like eucalyptus and basil, along with fruit scents of plump black cherries, and a subtle perfume of black roses. Swirl, and those black cherries blend with blackberries and become macerated into the jammiest of compotes. Pull those nose slightly away to find hints of firewood or embers along with the thinest level of acidity.
The palate is immediately refreshing, smooth, and well rounded. Though the tannins must be present because the body is a solid medium, they’re too busy working, maintaining the backbone of the wine to bother the tongue or influence the flavors or textures in any way. Dominant flavors are of black cherry, blackberry, cedar wood, unsweetened cacao, hints of anise, and mint.
The finish finally finds the texture, but it’s more of a light jacket for the palate as opposed to a full-on coat. The lingering flavor is of a deliciously, slightly burnt, mixed berry pie.
Food Pairing: I paired the Passaggio Wines 2015 Connect Red Blend with a seared duck breast topped with my homemade a l’orange sauce, butternut squash purée, and a side salad of arugula, mandarin oranges, and cranberries, tossed with a light vinaigrette.
Loved everything about this pairing. The natural, almost funky, juices of the duck along with its crispy skin and the spice-filled sauce brought out even more of the jamminess in the wine, kept the texture perfectly round, and complemented the subtle earthy-herby elements as well. Meanwhile the arugula, believe it or not, did not dominate the palate with any bitterness nor did it create a cloying tannin sensation — instead it brought forward more of that smokiness found on the finish. The mandarins — well those were just the right pops of natural sweetness needed to balance out the meal as a whole and did nothing to deter or change the wine in any way.
Perfect pairing. Full stop.
More Info: I purchased the Passaggio Wines 2015 Connect Red Blend at the Passaggio tasting room in downtown Sonoma. Retail: $62. For more information about Passaggio and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Passaggio Wines website.
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