Walking passed the garage door and the store front that is El Corazon Winery I could fancy myself back in Todos Santos, Baja on vacation. The winery name painted on the roll-up door and the sugar skulls and artwork in the shop windows with the white walls inside and out remind me of shops off of the Plaza there and in La Paz many years ago. ‘The Heart’, which is the English translation of ‘El Corazon’, focuses primarily on single-vineyard, single-varietal, fruit driven wines that exemplify terroir, especially Walla Walla AVA terroir. Having spent time with Spencer Sievers, co-owner and co-winemaker, socially, and enjoyed El Corazon wines at various events, I wanted to get into the winery for a visit and that came to pass this Spring. (Alas, Spencer was out-of-town.) Irreverence with a touch of dry, dark wit might seem a bit off of the typical Walla Walla winery but the El Corazon wines are truly worthy.
- 2012 Super Nova – 100% Malbec from the Horse Heaven Hills Vineyard in the AVA of the same name at 14.3% ABV, is a rich, Cassis and blue berry fruit filled wine with a lingering, tannic finish
- 2013 Swordfight – 50% Syrah, 50% Mourvedre’ at 14.1% ABV is a collaboration with another local winery, Rotie Cellars. Each winery makes 2 barrels of a single varietal (El Corazon did the Syrah for this blend) and then both bottle and label the blend of their allotted two barrels. A friendly competition; ‘swordfight’ was more appropriate a name than ‘fencing’ for El Corazon. Dark and brooding it is excellent!
2012 Run with the Hunted – 50% Syrah, 38% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Franc is black cherries, bright raspberries and spice with a lively complex finish
- 2012 Pistolero – 28% Malbec, 28% Cabernet Franc, 18% Carmenere, 14% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot from the Walla Walla Valley is a melange of fruit with lot sod spice and vanilla on both the nose and palate.
- 2012 Tigers Blood – 100% Carmenere, 13.9% ABV, is jalapeno peppers on the nose and palate, my partner in wine had to finish this one for me.