It’s not unusual for large and ever-consistently growing companies to branch out and start producing products that are both unique to their label and also help to further the reach of their brand. One perfect example is Carlos Torano and Torano Cigars somewhat recent venture into the world of fine wine. As most are aware, Torano has been successfully producing fine cigars for decades now and apparently they believe it’s time to branch out into the wide world of distilled spirits.
Tonight, I was fortunate enough to sample Torano’s private reserve Antebellum hailing from Arrington Vineyards circa 2009. What makes this particular wine interesting is that it was specifically designed to be enjoyed within the company of a fine cigar. The bottle sports a label that states “the Antebellum is a unique red wine blend that was aged 16 months in oak wine barrels, then aged an additional 6 months in special charred oak barrels. A true gift from the south, this bold, earthy, dry red wine is ready to be enjoyed with your favorite Torano Cigar.”
The first and most noticeable feature of the Antebellum is its nose, a deep and rich aroma that seemed more in line with a port than a traditional red. In contrast, the profile of the wine is completely a horse of a different color. The ruby red vino is very dry with just a bit of a tart sweetness. It reminded me of a light cabernet with moderate tannins and a subdued smoked oaky note that just lingers in the background. Another perspective offered by one of our guest writers Dave R. was that “the charcoal flavor makes it an excellent wine to pair with cigars. When the wine dies out it has a pinot finish that slowly becomes replaced by the resounding charcoal note.”
Two things struck me when sampling the Antebellum, the first was that the nose was potent and powerful enough to stand up prominently in a smoked filled cigar bar, and two, rather than having an overly sweet profile, like a port, to counteract a cigar it instead offers a nice balanced compliment of sweet and somewhat tart. Two particular Torano Cigars immediately jumped to mind as being perfect pairings for the vino. First, the new Torano Loyal, which is a fantastic smoke for an extremely low price point and second the Torano Exodus 1959. Both offered smooth bold flavors that paired well with the Antebellum. We here at Cigar Brief would like to give many thank to both Neptune Cigars and Torano Cigars for affording us the opportunity to sample this extremely limited small batch vintage.
Price: ???? per bottle
Characteristics: Very dry red with earthy and oaky that finishes with charcoal notes.
Verdict: If You Can Find It, Buy Now!