Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.
In part one of our red wine blend write up I wrote about the history of the red wine blend market in the United States. Even though winemakers have been making red wine blends for centuries, a new trend of wines that market themselves as just red blends has emerged.
Old World (France, Spain, Italy, Germany) wines such as Bordeaux, Cotes Du Rhone and Rioja are blends, but are under strict regulation as to which grapes winemakers may blend with. New World (United States, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand) wines do not have such strict regulation and allow winemakers to use any grape they please. This allows New World winemakers to make delicious red wine blends at a great value. Here are some outstanding red wine blends available at Dominion Wine and Beer.
Orin Swift Cellars Papillon 2012 Napa, California
Napa Valley’s 2012 growing season saw near perfect conditions. This incredible growing season made it easy for talented winemakers like David Swift Phinney, who founded Orin Swift Cellars, to make outstanding blends. Orin Swift Cellars is best known for the wine “The Prisoner” (which is no longer made by Orin Swift) a high-end blend you can find anywhere. Now Orin Swift Cellars makes a variety of blends sourced from all over the world. The 2012 Papillon is definitely a step up from the original Prisoner. A Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, the 2012 Papillon delivers a delicious full-bodied blend. Scoring 93 points from Robert Parker, you should grab this bottle while it lasts.
Coup de Grâce has been a winner for us ever since we introduced it to our customers. A Zinfandel dominated blend, Coup de Grâce is made in a truly original California Red Blend style (Zinfandel driven). Other grapes used for Coup de Grâce blend are Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Coup de Grâce is rich and full of character with blackberry, licorice, spice and earth notes intertwined with soft oak flavors.*
Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red 2012 Lake County, California
Wrangler Red is perfect for wine lovers who enjoy wines such as Apothic Red and Ménage à Trois.
This value blend is silky smooth and tastes like a wine twice the price. A blend of mostly Zinfandel and Syrah, Wrangler Red is deep in color and consists of flavors of blackberry, cinnamon spice and sweet vanilla. A rich wine that finishes with soft silky tannins. Grapes used to produce Wrangler Red came from higher elevation vineyards of the up and coming appellation of Lake County California.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.