2016 Yorkville Cellars, Richard The Lion-Heart – A “Bordeaux Style” Blend

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I have been anxiously awaiting to try the 2016 Yorkville Cellars (Bordeaux Blend) wine called Richard The Lion-Heart. It is a blend of all organic grapes from the estate vineyard. It consists of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 15% Merlot, 5%, Carménère, 5% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc all six Noble Reds. The grapes are grown from their Mendocino highlands (1,000 foot elevation) vineyard and handcrafted by Edward and Deborah Wallo. For “their regal” wine, they select the best barrels of each varietal and work on a harmonious blend, then it is rested in 100% French oak barrels for 21 months.  The wine has won numerous awards such as: Best of Class, California State Fair; Gold San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; 96 Points from Critics Challenge and many more over the years.

The 2016 Yorkville Cellar, Richard the Lion Heart Wine

The 2016 on the eyes appears as a dark ruby red and crisp in color with medium to medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, floral aromas of dark red and black berries, specifically raspberries and blackberries, cocoa and a tinge of smoke. It has the floral aromatics from Cabernet Franc, the unique taste profile of Carménère, dark fruits and spices of Petit Verdot, plum jam and smoothness of Malbec, structure and cherry of Cabernet Sauvignon and the roundness of Merlot. In the mouth you are awakened to all of the components of this lush wine of Noble heritage and together they provide another dimension found in classical “Bordeaux wines” with a near perfect blend. The finish was medium length and silky smooth. The sum experience was definitely greater than the standalone wines.

The Food Pairing

Paired this evening with two Chaka marinated & seared and BBQ’ed tri-tip steaks. Served with a fresh garden salad presented as “mosaic masterpiece’ (our friend Candy Strubbe), twice baked potatoes topped with cheese and bacon pieces. Additionally, roasted halved Brussel sprouts drizzled with balsamic reduction completed the meal.  I will only in passing mention the lovely angel food cake with pineapple and ice cream.

Further reading on Yorkville Cellars can be found at:



As a side note, this “Bordeaux or Meritage blend” was considered by most at the table as “delicate and refined” and compared to the gracefulness of a Pinot Noir, not in taste but how it interacted with the food. The lightness of the blend would be better suited for a less bravado dinner steak. One could make this Richard The Lion-Heart a stand along sipping wine with its precision character and traits.

Perhaps the name “Richard The Lion-Heart wine” is similar to the person. Richard I, King of England (1157-1199) a military strategist putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, commander during the Third Crusade and leading the campaign against his Muslim counterpart shows the “strength and might as the warrior” spirit of him but may have an analogous meaning with the wine components as strong character of themselves. Yet Richard The Lionheart also published two poems and “had a softer side of his personality”. Thus similar to the finish on the wine. I will let you draw your own parallels for me, the name seems very appropriate for this wine.






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