I’m getting a little sad that we are so close to the end of the 12 Days of Wine 2021…
None the less, my sadness is washed away by the beauty of today’s wine.
This wine comes to us from the Walla Walla Valley, from Caprio Cellars in Washington.
Caprio Cellars 2018 Eleanor, Walla Walla Valley
We paired the Eleanor which is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 15% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Franc (a Bordeaux style blend). It spends 18 month is 35% new French oak. They pull about half the fruit from the Elenor Vineyard which is located on the property where you will find their tasting room. This vineyard brings dense fruit notes to the wine. The remainder comes from the Octave Estate Vineyard which is planted in fractured basalt at 1300 feet. These grapes brings structure and minerality to the wine. Amazingly, these two vineyards are just 10 miles away from each other.
What does it taste like?
When you put your nose in the glass you get rich fruit notes of blackberry, red, plum, wet hay, eucalyptus, black currant and violet. There are notes of oak and cedar, dark chocolate, cassis, pomegranate, dried cherries and star anise as well as a stony minerality.
This is a complex wine that will want to make you take some time with your nose in the glass.
If you want a bottle you can find it on their site at here. But really, you should find a way to get there and enjoy the amazing experience of their tasting room and pick up a bottle while you are there.
Cachio e Pepe Ravioli with ricotta, sundried tomatoes, pancetta, grated parmesan, and fresh oregano
For our 12 Days of Wine pairing, we wanted to stick to the Italian roots and paired it with Cachio e Pepe Ravioli with ricotta, sundried tomatoes, pancetta, grated parmesan, and fresh oregano.
I did not take the time to make homemade ravioli. I mean it’s the holiday’s people, who has that kind of time? I found a delicious package, warmed it up then I pan-fried a bit of pancetta, rehydrated some sundried tomatoes, and grated some parmesan over the top. My oregano is still going strong in the backyard, so a fresh sprig garnished the top.
We discovered Caprio Cellars over the pandemic, thanks to our friend Carl. We paired their Eleanor with grilled octopus and roasted potatoes
This summer we had a chance to visit them. It’s an incredible experience in their beautiful tasting room on the vineyard in Walla Walla. You can read all about that here https://www.crushedgrapechronicles.com/the-scenic-route-day-9-through-the-columbia-gorge-to-spend-an-afternoon-being-spoiled-at-caprio-cellars-in-walla-walla/
Caprio is named for the Italian side of Dennis Murphy’s family. The Eleanor is named for his grandmother, who would be horrified if you invited people in and did not feed them! His tastings are free, as are the delicious pairings created by Chef Ian. The views are stupendous and you feel like royalty when you visit.
If you are an over-achiever, you can make your own homemade ravioli for this delightful spoon. If you are like me, just go out and find a good fresh or frozen ravioli, cook it, and then create this delicious little bite! I topped the ravioli with ricotta, pan-fried pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan and fresh oregano.
- Sundried tomatoes
- Prepare your ravioli according to the package. (Be sure to choose a ravioli that is the right size for your spoon)
- While that is cooking fry up some pancetta, just until it is a little crispy.
- Place one ravioli in the spoon.
- Top with a dollop of ricotta
- Sprinkle on the pancetta
- Add 2 thin strips of rehydrated sundried tomato
- Grate some parmesan on top
- Finish with a sprig of fresh oregano
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.