This is nothing like you have seen from Raphael Vineyards before. It is a very simple bottle, with a very simple label, nothing old world about this label, just shot of two seats with spread of cheese, meats, fruits, breads and wine, overlooking a field or a vineyard, whatever you perceive it to be.
This bottle of wine, Raphael Vineyards 2007 La Tavola, ($13) is an enhancement to the table you place it on. It is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Malbec and 10% Cabernet Franc.
On the nose I was picking up some dried cherry and blackberry. There was also this earthy funkiness on the nose that reminded me of wet soil and mushrooms. There was also some dried herbs and a touch of minerality like wet beach rocks.
The taste was more of the same, but I was picking up some grilled fig and plum as well. There was also a minty note that carried onto the finish.
The tannins were ripe and the acidity was perfect. There was good harmony and balance to the wine and for this price, of $13, it cold be your every day table wine.
I would pick this up and bring this to the next dinner party you go to or the next time you have friends over for laughs and good times. You and your friends will enjoy this wine. When I had this at our table, I called our table, La Tavola Felice! The Happy Table!