Dominio IV Wines 2013 Spellbound

Painting the taste of the wine

What words do you use to describe the wine you’re tasting?

Fruity, bold, light, round, tight? Or perhaps flavors – berry, leather, earth, peach. We’ve all been there: struggling to find the words that describe what’s in your mouth. For winemaker Patrick Reuter, he’s developed a method for painting how his wines taste. Born out of his own struggle to write wine descriptions that made sense to him months later, his “shape tasting” paintings incorporate colors and shapes in a time-based chart.

It can be as obvious as dark purples for black raspberry, pink-orange for peach, and green for herbal notes. Or perhaps a light blue to remind you of the sea when you’re tasting a hint of saline. Big round shapes are fruit, while sharp arrows represent acid and tight, little dots represent the tannins.

For Patrick, they are as much art as a technical tool. When he’s blending wines, he paints the profile of each of his wines, looking for ways they might fit together. Does one wine explode with fruit, but then fade in the mid-palate? Blend it with a wine that opens softly but finishes strong. For Patrick, it’s all in the painting.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Dominio IV Wines, Carlton, Oregon
2013 Spellbound

When you taste the wine, observe the label on the bottle.

At first, the painting will make no sense. But taste again and watch again. After a few tries, you’ll discover the unique magic of Patrick Reuter’s “shape tasting” technique.

The 2013 Spellbound is a blend of 56% Syrah, 39% Tempranillo, and 5% Petit Verdot. That’s not a combination you’ll find often as Syrah’s ancestral home is the Rhône region of France while Tempranillo is Spain’s noble grape. But it’s a blend that is increasingly winning fans – particularly among Australian winemakers.

As imperfect as words are to describe flavors, we’ll share a few anyway. This wine opens up with dark, black fruit and plum flavors that fade to reveal intense spice, anise and leather notes. The Syrah and Tempranillo were planted next to each other and co-mingle gorgeously in this bottle.

This wine will be fantastic with the grilled polish sausage, barbecue, or brisket you’re enjoying in late summer.

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2017, Picnic & BBQ Wines Columbia Gorge | Petit Verdot, Syrah, Tempranillo

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