Some people talk about California, French, or Italian wines as if all the wines coming from these countries are similar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even in California alone, with nearly 1,000 miles separating vineyards of the North from those of the South, it doesn't take much thought to realize that the differences in soils and climate can vary greatly.
Add to that the fact that the same grapes grown on hillsides can differ greatly from those grown on flatlands or mountains. Vines near large bodies of water also produce grapes that are different from those produced nowhere near one. That's not to say one is better than the other, just different. It's blending those differences that can give a wine complexity.
Nobody understands these idiosyncrasies better than the O'Neill winery in Parlier, California near Fresno State. That is also rather fortuitous because more American winemakers graduated from Fresno State than any other college in California, even UC Davis. Many oenology students even train at O'Neill, making it a win-win situation.
While O'Neill makes many different wines from different areas, their Curran Creek line is considered their premium label. After picking and fermenting the grapes, they choose the best lots for Curran Creek and it certainly shows here. The burst of plum and spice in the nose signals the similar experience on the palate. Waves of juicy, black fruit descend on the palate leaving flecks of flavor at every pour. Chicken with garlic and chorizo or a pork stew with green chiles would be more than appropriate.