Burrowing Owl always seemed like a strange name, but alas, there are such creatures:
Anyhoo, after Desert Hills we were out of time, and headed up to Black Hills for the Nota Bene Release Party, our Main Event of the trip. We got there just after 4 PM, the time printed on our ticket, only to be told that some tickets were mis-printed, and the event did not start until 5. OK, no big deal, that gave us the time we needed to drive down the road and get in one more tasting for the day, at Burrowing Owl.
They feature a $3 tasting fee, which goes to charity.
2011 Chardonnay ($25.00)
Lightly oaked, just a hint of butterscotch, joining lemon and peach flavors. Rich and well balanced. 86.
2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($22.00)
Grapefruit, citrus and grass on the nose, with some passionfruit and minerality on the palate. 85
2011 Pinot Noir ($30.00)
Strawberry, plums and a touch of earthiness on the nose, with cherries, strawberries and blueberries on the palate. Very nice now, and would improve with a few more years of careful cellaring. 89.
2010 Merlot ($30.00)
The fruitiness of cherry, blackberry and blueberry mingling with savory herb notes on the nose. Full-bodied palate features plum, red and black berries, bacon and chocolate. Long, smooth finish. Very nice. 90.
2011 Syrah ($33.00)
Black olives, cherry, black pepper on the nose. The palate is rich and full-bodied, featuring blackberry and cherry, giving way to a touch of spice and earthiness. 87.
2011 Athene ($38.00)
A rich blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, you'll get both on the nose; some pepper, blackberry, violets and mint can be found. Blackberry and a touch of blueberry on the palate, with a spicy long finish. 88.
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($35.00)
Currants and raspberry on the nose, with a hint of cinnamon. Tannins are firm and ripe, with plums, blackberries and a hint of sage on the palate. Finishes very well. Nice now, but this is built for aging and some careful cellaring will enhance greatly. 87.
2011 Cabernet Franc ($33.00)
Blueberries, plums, herbs and a hint of cigar on the nose, with raspberries, chocolate and a bit of licorice on the palate. Another one built for some long term aging. 86.
2009 Meritage ($45.00)
Strong notes of red plums and blackberries on the very complex nose. The berries continue to the palate, joined by chocolate and earthy tones. A blend of the five Bordeaux grapes, but 38% Merlot. Again, aging will only enhance what is already a lovely wine. 89.
Just one more terrific tasting experience, nothing but good wines and a beautiful, picturesque view. Their guest house looks amazing, and we may decide to stay here for a few nights when we visit next summer.