Ravines “Le Petit Caporal” Red Wine 2015: $35 Excellent

The Ravines Wine Cellars “Petit Caporal” Red Wine (Finger Lakes, NY) 2015 $35 [Excellent] is a tremendous wine, with a complex set of aromas, intense flavors, and very good balance.  Juicy and delicious, it is simply too easy to drink; the critic’s pen often finds itself idle.  This wine also has an interesting story (see note below).  Drink it any way you like.

The Petit Caporal is beautifully colored, a medium dark velvety ruby.  Lush and forward aromas of ripe raspbery, red and black currant, vanilla, baking spice, cocoa, sandalwood, graphite and menthol are harmonious and captivating.  Full bodied, mouth filling, soft, with just enough acidity and tannin, balance is very good.  Soft lush flavors of raspberry, red and black currant, vanilla, baking spice, and graphite have excellent purity and concentration.  The finish incorporates a little sour tang (which carries it along), a great deal of fruit, and dollops of baking spice and graphite.  It is quite long, and flavors linger.  March 2018

Note: “Le Petit Caporal” (the little corporal) seems like an odd name for a wine, especially an American wine from the Finger Lakes, until one knows the back story.  Le Petit Caporal was Napoleon’s nickname.  Sam Argetsinger (of the famed Argetsinger vineyard) was a great admirer of Bonaparte, and the silhouette on the label is Sam’s.  Morten Halgren means this wine to be an "homage to the spirit of adventures and leaders; people of strength and integrity who are born to change the world,” and more specifically as "a tribute to our dear departed friend Sam.”  The Cabernet Franc grapes in this blend are from the Argetsinger Vineyard.  It is composed of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Merlot.


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© Douglas Hillstrom 2014