Brandon Hills Raptor Red — Wine Review

Tonight we decided to opt for another Yadkin Valley red blend, this time from Brandon Hills Vineyard.  The Raptor Red is their premier red blend wine that features a different raptor from vintage to vintage.  The current vintage is the 2008 which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Viognier.  The story behind the name is one of true adoration for nature.  The winery partners with the Carolina Raptor Center and features one of their birds of prey on the bottle.  A part of the proceeds goes back to the Raptor Center to help fund a good cause.

Brandon Hills has grown grapes since 2005 and started producing wine in 2007.  This 2008 Raptor Red  is one of their earlier wines.  The color is a dark but translucent red clearly through.  The wine is holding up well for its age, too, showing a rich color in the middle and holding to the edge where it fades slightly into a tawny bronze.  The nose is light and slightly woody.  It displays notes of cherry mingling with subtle hints of cinnamon and vanilla.

The flavors deep and complex, while keeping a lighter note.  The addition of the Viognier allows the wine to develop character without making it as dry and tannic as a red blend from California might be.  The light acid profile make the wine feel light and velvety.  The initial flavors are of red currant and cedar.  The middle notes are dry and slightly astringent, but not in an offensive way.  The ending notes are clean with a lingering lactic acids and a hint of orange.

The winery itself is picturesque, perched on top of a hill overlooking the vineyard in the valley. Plan a visit and pick up a bottle of the Raptor Red and help support the wild birds of North Carolina.

Brandon Hills is located in Yadkinville, NC.

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Check out our other NC Wine Month postings:

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Posted by Matt Kemberling

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