Winery: Vindemia Winery
Product/Varietal: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon + 20% Syrah
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
How They Describe It
“It has been said emphatically that loneliness serves no purpose… Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t think any experience so much a part of our common shared lives can be entirely devoid of meaning, without a richness and a value of some kind.”
How I Describe It
The color of the Vindemia 2017 Loneliness is absolutely gorgeous, and foreshadows its richness. The wine must have had some intense skin contact during fermentation; its deep ruby-purple hue resembles Syrah more than what’s expected of a traditional Cabernet Sauvignon — particularly one from the Temecula Valley AVA — despite the latter’s dominance in the blend.
Deep, dark, rich boysenberry and blueberry mix with warm, toasty vanilla at the outset. Next, mulberry, ripe raspberry, and blackberry join a floral perfume of lavender and blossom. The high alcohol can be detected on the nose, but it largely amplifies the wine’s fruity aromas and is a worthwhile trade-off.
Blueberry, mulberry, and boysenberry are the dominant flavors, along with black cherry and raspberry. Despite being a distinctly dry wine, the richness of the fruit characteristics almost resemble a cobbler (though not overly jammy). Toasty vanilla, white pepper, and a smidge of capsicum add spice. And the floral perfume halos around every sip.
The 2017 Loneliness is dry, and at 15.0% has distinctly high alcohol. Beautifully smooth medium-plus tannins combine with medium acid to give the wine medium-plus to full body. Flavor intensity is delicate but pronounced, with a long finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
Let’s first start by noting this is a brand new release. Now, it’s no secret I’m a fan of Temecula wines, but Vindemia’s 2017 Loneliness blew me away. I didn’t know Cabernet could taste like this in Southern California.
There’s something extremely special about this wine’s oak aging process: it only lasts 45 days! After that, the wine is moved into bottles where it continues aging until ready for release.
It’s not uncommon to see full bodied red wines aged in oak for months, if not years. And in a market where oak aging is considered a premium, Vindemia shows unequivocally what little oak is needed to make outstanding wine.
Another very interesting aspect of the Vindemia 2017 Loneliness is where the vineyards are located. There must be something special about the vineyards along Temecula’s Vista del Monte Road, because this is the third wine which has scored at least 93. And one of them was also a Cabernet-Syrah blend.
With minimal oaking, one might wonder about Loneliness’s cellaring potential. I think it would do extremely well aging for a few more years. The high alcohol and natural grape skin tannins should help preserve the wine as its flavors mature.
This brings me to Wine Enthusiast’s rating. Don’t get me wrong, 88 is a strong score, but the 2017 Loneliness deserves much more. By Wine Enthusiast’s own standards, 88 is considered “Very Good: Often good value; well recommended”. By contrast, it considers 94 to be “Superb: A great achievement”. I can’t speak to how Wine Enthusiast weighed the wine’s qualities. However, I 100% believe Vindemia’s 2017 Loneliness is, superbly, a great achievement.
Last, how fitting is this wine’s name is for current events? In the shadow of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, we’ve all felt a little lonely. What’s more, we’ve all probably popped open a bottle (or many) of wine because of (or in spite of) that loneliness. Incredibly, despite Vindemia releasing Loneliness in the last couple weeks, the name’s relationship to the coronavirus pandemic is entirely coincidental. Personally, this makes the name even better.
In full disclosure, the bottle described here was donated by Vindemia Winery. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
When & How I Would Drink It
I think Vindemia’s winemakers knew how special the 2017 Loneliness was when they priced it. At $98 a bottle, this is a special wine which deserves to be broken out for equally special occasions. And it’s worth every dollar.
Cabernet and Syrah are both robust wines which pair well with rich proteins and well-spiced foods. Simply put, if it’s red (e.g., prime rib, marinara, etc.) and can be cooked on a grill or in a pot, Loneliness will go well with it.
Keep in mind, at 15% alcohol, this is a wine you’ll want to drink at the end of the day. A single glass will provide a bit of a buzz. But it’s such a delicious wine you’ll probably want more than one.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $98 ($78 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 135 cases
Have you tried the Vindemia 2017 Loneliness? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.