Review by Francine Lubera

Trilogy of (Tasty) Terror:

Castile Del Diablo – Phantom – Sinister Hand

Oh, it’s a ghastly night, is All Saints’ Eve, with ghouls, vampires, apparitions, unspeakable terrors, the hideous undead with arms flailing, mouths agape. The perfect setting for a Halloween wine tasting! For this homage to Michael Myers, Rob Zombie and Freddie Krueger, we’ll look at 3 thick and bloody reds, perfect for any trick or treat.

Castile Del Diablo, riserva privada, 2009, is a product of Concha y Toro, S.A., Maipo Valley, Chile.  The devil is in this brew, and to prove it, Satan’s head is etched onto the very bottle from which you pour. This red is 85% Cabernet, 15% Syrah, and aged in vintage French oak barrels. Enjoy the ruby red color, the sharp vanilla, the dry, fruity finish. But, beware the initial swirl, this is one hefty red that bites back. We were blown away by the combination of Diablo and flatbread margarita pizza – with the addition of an intense and creamy gorgonzola. When the most interesting man in the world isn’t drinking beer, he’s got to be drinking this! $17.

From devils to specters, we review Phantom, a 2007 California red from Bogle Vineyards. The label says it all: “a ruby apparition that personifies spirit…mysterious and hauntingly seductive…” This is a petite syrah, old vine zinfandel and old vine mourvedre (a grape native to Spain but long since traveled to the Rhone Valley and the West Coast of the U.S.). Some say bold and fruity, but I found some metallic and butterscotch wisps. We tried this with a warm, dark chocolate lava cake and caramel drizzle. To die for! $27.

Sinister Hand, a 2009 blend from Columbia Valley, is bottled by Owen Roe Winery, Sunnyside, WA, and offers up a Monkeys Paw story, indeed (a severed, bloodied hand and a highly-competitive rowing contest­­– therein lies the family crest). Whiffs of chocolate, black cherries, some herbs and  prunes. There was something else, too, something earthy. This wine is built from 70% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 2% Mourvedre, and 2% Cournoise (another Rhone grape that thrives in WA, ORE, and CA). Sharing a delicate, crusty, oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and a touch of rosemary makes this wine a POE-tic end to a deliciously dark and stormy night. $26.

Back to Red Wine Reviews