Sunday, December 20, 2009

Raphael Tavola 2007


Raphael is one of the first growths of the east coast. There is no question they are among the highest choir of angels in the wine firmament on the eastern seaboard. They have been praised by Wine Spectator and lauded by the New York Times.

Now, Raphael has come out with a lovely new table wine called La Tavola. It's only $12.95 and marks Raphael's entry into the more easilly affordable red wine market with a medium bodied red that great for food and entertaining. A lovely, everyday kind of wine priced very affordably for the averge consumer.

2007 La Tavola
The 2007 vintage was one of the finest ever experienced on the North Fork. Hot sunny days and with clear blue skies seemed to be the norm for most days. Low levels of rainfall and humidity throughout the season made for almost perfect growing conditions. The high levels of solar radiation along with cooler weather in the late summer and fall allowed for great concentration of flavor, color and extract along with wonderful retention of aromatics in the fruit.

Tasting Notes (from Raphael)
Great, handcrafted wine at a great price marks the debut of Raphael’s 2007 La Tavola. Meaning “The Table” in Italian, this wine was made for everyday enjoyment and is a regular feature on our mealtime table. The wine is made from mostly younger vines and reflects a blend of the three of the most important red wine varieties on the North Fork. La Tavola is fruity and soft, and retains classic elegance reflecting the extreme ripeness of the vintage. The Merlot provides velvety ripe tannins and dense mouth feel while the Malbec adds an exotic and earthy touch. The Cabernet Franc rounds out the blend with its typical saline minerality and firm acidity which lifts the flavors, adding to a pleasant long finish. This wine outclasses most wines in its price category and is one of the North Fork’s great wine values from an outstanding vintage.

I rarely look at the tasting notes before I drink a wine. I don;t want to be lead. I want to taste what I find. However, the notes are acurrate, and that's why I reprinted them here.

This is a lovely table wine. This is the kind of wine you buy a case of at the holidays and impress your friends with all the way through. And then buy another case in January and savor through the winter. Fabulous wine. Fabulous price. Fabulous winery. Raphael once again proves why it is one of the premiere wineries on the east coast!