2019 Corral Wine Co, Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, Red Wine “See What You Can Do” Monterey County.
Starting humbly with their debut Sauvignon Blanc from the Zabala Vineyard, Corral Wine Co has really impressed with a series of beautifully crafted and compelling red wines, led by their Estate Pinot Noir offerings, their tasty Cienega Valley Zinfandel, the Paso Robles Petite Sirah and this outstanding deep and dark fruited “See What You Can Do” Red Wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is not an easy thing to do, start a brand new label and vineyard from scratch, and made harder still by the global pandemic and with the lingering effects of labor and supply chain issues driving up the cost of everything, but Larry Bell and team have pulling it and we are being rewarded with these extraordinary efforts, Corral is one of the best new wineries in the Monterey region and currently have an excellent set of wines as proof. This wine, for me, in particular, is a hugely successful offering with exceptional depth, loaded with blue and black fruit concentration, beautiful opulent mouth feel and exciting detailing with floral notes, spice and balanced savory elements all seamlessly flowing across the full bodied and supple palate. The 2019 See What You Can Do red is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon from Carmel Valley and 50% Syrah from Arroyo Seco, making for an intriguing bottling, almost Aussie inspired, showing blackberry, plum, currant and cherry fruits, smooth ripe tannin, touches of graphite, anise, vilolets, cedar, lingering creme de cassis and smoky vanilla, it’s wine that drinks superbly now, but should also reward another few years tucked away, it goes fabulously well with grilled steak and or winter cuisine, as well as a delicious companion to hard cheeses.

The Corral Wine Co., started by Larry Bell, is a family run micro (craft) winery, with winemaker Adrien Valenzuela, in Corral de Tierra, set in between Carmel Valley and the Salinas Valley, that has a few acres of estate Pinot Noir vines and sources grapes from selected vineyards throughout Monterey and Paso Robles. As mentioned in prior reviews, Valenzuela, a Salinas and Monterey County native, is one of a hugely talented new set of home grown local winemakers in the region, was studying biology and nursing, before taking an internship at Estancia and caught the wine bug. His first solo wine that he made in his garage was a hit at the Mid-State Fair, taking a Gold Medal and then he joined Constellation, the giant wine and drinks behemoth, where he leaned winemaking along side an international group, gaining a ton of expirience. As I’ve said before, young winemakers, have a tough road to success and there are many roadblocks along the way, so it is great to see young people taking their chance and making it in this business, which clearly Adrien is doing here with Corral. The lineup at Corral is well worth checking out, from the Sauvignon Blanc to their set of Pinots, as well as a deeply colored and full bodied alternative reds, like this one, I highly recommend trying the full collection. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, all organic, came from the historic old vines at the Massa Estate, formerly known as the Durney Vineyard during the 70s and 80s, and the Syrah was sourced from the Zabala Vineyard in Arroyo Seco, both one ton lots that were 100% de-stemmed and macerated separately and blended post fermentation and aged in French oak for over a year, maybe closer to two, before bottling, sadly it maybe a one time wine, so best to grab it while you can, it gets better and better each time I try it.
($62 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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