Winery of the Year: Milagro Vineyards
I've named Milagro the winery of the month before, but this is a new year and the current releases prove that once again. This is also the first Winery-of-the-Year I've ever given and it's not even Thanksgiving. From the Corrales White & Red blends to the Old Church Road Zinfandel and Chardonnay, every one is stamped with the Milagro motto; "handcrafted from vine to wine."
I recently taught two wine classes for Road Scholar at the MCM Eleganté, and the Milagro Corrales White and Corrales Red stole the show during the tasting. I knew going in that the wines would show well; that's why they were included. Since the blends are primarily comprised of the single varietal wines that have won multiple awards, it is easy to understand their popularity.
I recently opened a bottle of the Milagro 2009 Old Church Road Select Chardonnay; as the name suggests, a hand-selected version of the always popular Milagro Chardonnay. The creamy notes of a sur-lie driven wine boast layers of refined fruit and an elegance one normally expects from a Montrachet. If this wine doesn't knock your socks off, you must not be wearing any.
Then there's the long line of Cabernet Franc wines that display an Old World refinement within a New World cloak. Ripe fruit and fine structure meet forest floor and earthy notes and a depth of flavors that has me coming back year after year. The 2009 Cabernet Franc will be released this winter and I'll be at the front of the line . . . no shoving!
The Milagro Merlot wines were the first ones I tried and immediately took notice. It is a consistently popular wine and can also be found in some of the best Albuquerque area restaurants. A library release of the 2006 Milagro Merlot is scheduled for release and tasting on November 19 & 20. This wine was aged an extra two years in oak and since there are only ten cases available you can bet who'll be at the head of that line, too.
Zinfandel is another variety at which Milagro excels, from the 2009 Zinfandel to the 2008 Old Church Road Select Zinfandel; these are wines that marry refinement with exuberance like nobody else. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is another popular wine, but it gets better. Milagro will be unveiling the new 2008 Franklin Vineyard Red Cuvee; a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot on December 10 & 11.
There are other tastings and events one can learn from the Milagro website, which has been updated and refined as well. For my money, this is the best winery in New Mexico for still wines. (I think Gruet has asked Rick to please not to get into the sparkling wine business, but that's only a rumor.) If you haven't tried Milagro before, you are in for a rare treat. Salud!