Monte Rio Cellars Skull Red 2019
50% Petite Sirah, 30% Mission, 20% Zinfandel. Monte Rio Cellars is a collaboration between longtime friends Patrick Cappiello and Pax Mahle. Following a successful career as a sommelier and restaurant owner in New York City, Patrick set his sights on the West Coast to make wine. As a restaurant buyer and young consumer Patrick was always frustrated by the lack of affordable, honest wines from California. He launched Monte Rio Cellars with the help of his buddy and highly-respected winemaker, Pax, to change this. Patrick and Pax’s philosophy is to make hand-crafted wines in the spirit of old California. With this idea in mind, they work with family-owned, organically farmed vineyards and keep the winemaking simple. Spontaneous fermentation takes place with whole cluster grapes in stainless steel and concrete, and aging takes place in neutral oak barrels. The goal is to make moderate alcohol, higher acid, fresh wines, naturally. This red blend of an unusual trio is all from organically-farmed vineyards and then goes through whole-cluster carbonic maceration for six to ten days. It is then pressed into concrete and steel with no sulfur being used anywhere. All of this creates a juicy, easy-drinking wine that has notes of ripe berries, sweet spice, and red currants with an acid-driven finish. Serve this chilled and enjoy one of the most exciting producers in California.