Cimarone's 2010 Cilla's Blend without help, but I did enjoy waving at them as I recognized them.
This estate grown wine is made from grapes sourced in Cimarone's Three Creek Vineyard in the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. The blend is 56% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Malbec. There is more Cabernet Sauvignon and less Syrah and Cabernet Franc in the '10 than in the '09. Fermented in barriques, then aged 10 months in new and neutral French oak, this red blend carries its wood well.
Doug Margerum, the winemaker of this vintage, exited the role of Cimarone's cellar man last year and Andrew Murray stepped in fill his shoes. Cimarone said on Twitter, "From 2011 forward, it's an Andrew wine."
Cimarone's owner Roger Higgins showed his sentimental side when he named the blend after his wife, Priscilla. He calls it “a wine of beauty and elegance - just like Cilla.” Some guys really know how to make it tough for the rest of us.
The wine sold for $20 per bottle, but it's listed as sold out on the website. The folks at Cimarone were kind enough to send me a sample to write about.
The '10 Cilla's Blend shows a fairly dark ruby color and whiffs a tad heavy on the alcohol until the 14.5% abv settles down. Blueberry and blackberry aromas hit hard and fast, leaving room for just a hint of black pepper and anise. Notes of cassis creep in after the glass has been sitting for awhile. The flavors are similarly fruit-laden, with a breath of pencil shavings and licorice. Taste it with feta cheese or, of course, steaks.
Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter