Fireball Firebelle: Guest Post!

Larkmead Vineyard’s 2007 Firebelle

Angela and Whitney graciously agreed to co-author a wonderful red wine post for me!  They’ve done a fabulous job and I trust had some fun in the process.   They tasted an interesting blend from a vineyard in Central California with dynamic bits of soil that make for very different varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  As for the rest, I’ll let you read the review!

Firebelle Blend

Larkmead Vineyard’s 2007 Firebelle
Merlot 62%, Cabernet Sauvignon 29%, Malbec 9%

Larkmead Vineyard’s 2007 Firebelle blend is a deep, grape flavored red with an acidic peppery smell and a tangy finish. The wine’s Merlot and Cab Sauvingon elements shine through brilliantly—the full grape taste of the Merlot paired with the classic, heavier Cab. The 9% Malbec in the blend lends the sharpness and tinny, lingering finish, like the brass section of the orchestra. The wine originates from the 200 year old Larkmead Vineyards—a family winery—and is named after the well-loved San Franciscan “Firebelle Lil” Coit (1842-1929), a strong woman with a passion for firefighting.

We chose to break open the Firebelle on a lazy Sunday evening, which turned out to be a bit grey and cold for June. We were given the bottle by close friends, Susana and Pat, whose adorable and very energetic Viszla puppy we looked after over a recent weekend. The Firebelle paired nicely with a slab of soft-ripened French goat cheese, an absolute favorite, and salted olive oil crackers. A glass would also go nicely with red meat, which goes without saying, given the richness and heavier character. The wine has beautiful legs.

As I take a careful sip, breathing deeply through my dominant right nostril, I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’, “The Chronicles of Narnia.” For some reason which I cannot articulate, the gravity and complexity of this red reminds me of Aslan’s luxurious coat. I am also reminded of the quiet emptiness that comes from watching wet, heavy snowflakes fall to the ground.

We were expecting a lighter, clearer taste from this red; however, the underlying grape tones and acidic finish were a welcome surprise and stayed true to the layered complexity that a blend ought to bring.

Rating (scale of 0-5 stars): 3.5

One Response to “Fireball Firebelle: Guest Post!”

  1. Angela and Whitney, thank you for watching our lovely little pup, and so happy you enjoyed the Larkmead. One of my personal favorites on a cool evening, I appreciated your review very much. Fantastic!!!

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