Tonight’s Occasion: 2013 La Mancha (estate field blend) by Wofford Acres Vineyards, El Dorado, CA
Out of the bottle nose is a little shy with an unmistakable tart black cherry, plum, and a touch of buttery vanilla on the back.
Body is smooth, crisp, balanced from front to back. Dark tart plums pull forward. This wine is bone dry and a Nebbiolo based field blend. There is good fruit but overall this is unmistakably Nebbiolo, unapologetically brute and brash. Bold tannins and bold acidity maintain firm tension across the palate. It drinks like a Barolo or big Barbaresco. Breathing only emboldens it’s expression, tannins develop a vise grip, mouth feel broadens, a hint of banana peel emerges so faint you’d likely miss it. This is likely a play between the fruit and granitic minerality typical of this region. Finish is massive, long, lingering, punctuated by faint pops of star anise, ahhhhh El Dorado and the Sierra Foothills.
This wine isn’t for everybody but it certainly is for me! I love a Nebbiolo! I love how understated it’s expression is. I love its unpretentious, unapologetic, even brutish disposition. La Mancha is a field blend typically of Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah and a little Merlot. The proportions vary with each vintage and harvest. This makes every vintage unique in its own way. I think it takes some courage to commit to a field blend. This means the varietals were blended right at harvest with no room to walk back the ratios. It is a massive, dry wine built for the long haul. 2013 needs at least 15yrs. I will likely add some to my very long-term reserve.