Twisted Oak: RIVER of SKULLS

October 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

TWISTED OAK winery is one of the LUSH favorites. These irreverant, wild pirates seized and conquered grape growing land out in Murphys, California…Calaveras County to be exact. There is a pirate cave. There is the Spaniard, complete with an homage to ‘The Princess Bride.’ There are amazing and crazy winemakers. And now, there is ‘The River of Skulls.’

Get River of Skulls!

The HISTORY: You determine if you believe it…

In 1805, Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga was ordered by the Spanish Governor of California to explore the Great Central Valley. displace the local Natives, and re-name everything he found. Well, one day Gabe and his horsemen came across a river the banks of which were littered with skulls. No one knows for sure how the skulls came to be on the banks of this river. Perhaps they were the remains of an ancient battle, or a terrible plague. Or perhaps it was a really great party that suddenly went horribly wrong. Whatever the case old Gabe, being a true master of the obvious, named this river “El Rio De Las Calaveras” or in English, “The River of Skulls.


Single vineyard Mourvedre with a dash of Syrah; from the Dalton Vineyard. Original art from Andrew Stai. A silk screened black bottle with a gianormous, shiny, red skull.

Deep, dark, and viscous, this oh so lovely, yet ghastly beast smelled of dried fruit and spice, espresso, earthy funky leather, a bit of lavender and tobacco, and vanilla. Once we poured it, the Lushes stepped back and watched the progression…swirling, sniffing, swirling, sniffing, sniffing…and finally sipping. Wow! Waves of fruit with raspberry and black cherry are framed by deeper flavors of tobacco and vanilla, but sit pretty on top of delicate minerality, chewy tannins, and well balanced acid. Full. Rich. A bit scary. We couldn’t stop. We had to have more. And more and more. And then the bottle was empty and we were sad…but since we sell the darn thing, there was a full set of more skulls. So, now, join us in the crusade to leave the land littered with empty bottles of skull and bones. This baby is chock full of structure, complexity and depth, and plenty of crazy goodness. This is a phenomenal wine. Definitely a rockstar, but with the cahones to lay down and last a while.

Get it now…Twisted Oak is selling it by invitation only, and LUSH has a VERY limited quantity. If you are VERY good and show Lush some lovin, we can perhaps show you what is in our pirate cave…it is big and double the pleasure. The first rule of club Lush is to never mention club Lush. It doesn’t exist. And neither does this offer of big wine…in big bottles…that doesn’t exist. Ever.

The mysterious and wonderous ‘El Jefe’ at Twisted has a great blog that we love to peruse, so you should, too… Twisted Oak makes yummy wine. We also have Tempranillo, Torcido (crazy, gnarly garnacha vines), Potty Mouth RED and WHITE, Verdelho, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, a bit of Spaniard (if you’re lucky), and some fun buttons laying around the shop…oh, and their rubber chicken (can’t forget him!).


1 Comment

  1. el jefe said,

    The history is true, subject to my retelling of course. Old Gabe was kind of like one of those Red Shirt guys on Star Trek – they beam down, but they don’t beam up. But he made it back despite the odds and ended up naming many of the major rivers in California.

    And BTW, I have it on Good Authority that the stuff in the Lush pirate cave is not just double the pleasure, but QUADRUPLE the pleasure. When you see it, you’ll know…

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