Red Wine Blends
Winemaking is a lot like cooking – add a pinch of this, a dab of that and a drop or two of something else and voila! You have created something delicious!
In winemaking, the ingredients are very limited – grapes, oak barrels and yeast. That’s all, folks, but (and this is a BIG but) each type of wine grape has its own inherent aromas, flavors and textures, as do different types of oak barrels and strains of yeast. This variety of available ingredients gives the winemaker a whole toy box of things to play with in her/his winemaking.
With this philosophy in mind, blends are really fun to make. I can say from personal experience, because I actually help with the blending at J. Rickards Winery (my day job). It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I actually get paid for it. Grin.
OK – on to the wines. I tasted a bunch of red blends from all over California (and some imports, too, but that’ll be in a separate review). The following wines were my favorites:
2008 Red Wine, CA $25
Wow! This delicious red wine blend is exotic, complex and sexy – like an underground Anime heroine come to life. Aromas of sandalwood, roses, raspberry, orange peel and spice lure you into a lush mouthful of consistent flavors.
Red Rock Winery
2009 Winemaker’s Blend, CA $13.99
Come to mama! Big, rich and loaded with aromas and flavors of black cherry, mocha, dark chocolate and cigar box, this wine will fulfill some cravings. And – it’s a total steal at only $13.99!
2006 Proprietor’s Red Wine, Alexander Valley $20
This wine is so sassy and juicy, it deserves a good spanking, but a few delicious sips will certainly suffice. Mouthwatering aromas of plum, red cherry, citrus peel and spice box lure the taster into a zesty, spicy mouthful of pure pleasure. Buy some. Buy some now!
2009 Red4, Paso Robles $16
Blackberry, peppery spice, leather and smoke aromas and flavors abound in this masculine wine, all wrapped up in a decadently rich mouthfeel. Picture Lenny Kravitz, lounging in his bedroom, wearing black leather pants and eating ripe blackberries. Berry juice dots the corners of his generous mouth. Smoke from a clove cigarette wafts across the room…
2009 Winemaker’s Blend CA $14
(Sung to the tune of “These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things”) Red fruits and roses and spices and berries, citrus and green herbs and bouncing red cherries, big juicy mouthfeel that makes me sing – these are a few of my favorite things! This wine is all that and more! A bargain at $14!
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, Paso Robles $29
This delicious wine is all about black cherry, plum, peppery spice and smoked meat, with a balanced, juicy mouthfeel. Picture Anthony Bourdain, working his magic at the BBQ, wearing nothing but his apron and a devilish smile and you’ll be with me on my happy planet.
2009 Red Wine, Lodi $16
Plum, blackberry, wintergreen and lots of spice set the stage for this easy-drinking red wine. The mouthfeel is richly textured and well balanced. It’s big on the “yum factor” and a great deal at $16!