2007 Ensemble California Red Table Wine $3.99

Silverdale, WA  13.6% alc.

Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel   The red partner of the Ensemble White from Diageo that I reviewed earlier in the week.  Clear deep purple/ruby; Zinfandel (possibly Paso Robles?) permeates the nose for me; spicy blackberry, dark plum, and some cooked prune.  I’m really liking the bouquet.  Thick and viscous with nice soft, but chewy tannins for texture; flavors show blackberry, black plum, dark cherry (from the Merlot), some chocolate and a little mintiness (from the Syrah); nice balance of fruit, acidity and tannin.  On the fruity end of the spectrum, but for $4.00, you can do far worse than this very tasty blend.  My bottle was a bit cold from the cellar, so make sure it’s cool room temperature before serving; it improved drastically after about one hour.  There were only two reviews at Cellar Tracker…one average, one more enthusiastic.  So, to repeat the already broken record…if this sounds like your style, spend the $4.00 and give it a shot.  I’d love to hear your take on it!

Two additional comments: I opened this bottle on Thursday and saved a little bit for Friday.  Tannin and acidity both seem more pronounced, but plenty of fruit still there.  Also, final pour revealed a small amount of tartaric crystals clinging to the shoulder of the bottle…nothing out of the ordinary.

And most important…I hadn’t been by the Bremerton store in a couple of weeks, so I dropped in today.  They’re selling this exact same wine for $4.99…a dollar more.  I hit the Silverdale store on my way home and bought a few more bottles…still for $3.99!  They had a fairly large case stack of it, so try to buy it at Silverdale if you’re in the area.  Of course…no promise it will still be $3.99.  So don’t hesitate if you think you want to try it.


8 thoughts on “2007 Ensemble California Red Table Wine $3.99

  1. lim13 Post author

    Opened another bottle of this tonight with Italian sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches on hard rolls. Both delicious! This is a really pleasant, fruity and spicy inexpensive red with backbone and decent acidity…a year later.

  2. The Connasewer

    The 2007 Ensemble Meritage, very fruty mouthful and soft on finish. A simple quaffer light on tannin. No complexity to speak of but OK for $4. Would I buy more? Not sure. My rating: 7 out of 10 from the Connasewer.

    1. lim13 Post author

      Just to clarify, Connasewer…the wine you’re describing above is a Meritage with the same Ensemble label…not the red table wine I’ve reviewed above? Is that correct?

  3. Gus

    This was quite a delightful find at the GO stores. Often the lower priced reds have a similar acid and tannin taste but this was much more pleasant to the
    pallette. I liked it so much that I returned the next day to buy a case. How often can you get a case of enjoyable wine for under $100 let alone under $50!!!

  4. Jeff Crick

    Hi GO fans, I agree w/the notes above. This is a nice blend, w/merlot dominating the show, I think the breakdown is 70% merlot, 19% syrah & 11% zin if memory serves me right. I tried this last week from a Portland GO, and its readily available here at $3.99. Dark cherry and some chocolate on the flavor profile, w/soft tannins and a mellow full body. On Day 2 the wine hadn’t opened or improved any, but for the price, a nice find, from the stellar ’07 California vintage. Finally, I think the Chalone Group makes this, under the Diageo umbrella, and for the most part, Chalone wines are usually a safe bet. Enjoy!

    1. Robert Seeds

      This wine has the Diageo name on the label. There really isn’t a Chalone group anymore. Those wineries are pretty completely integrated into Diageo’s portfolio, as is Rosenblum (whose wines are no longer made in Alameda but instead at a Diageo facility in Napa). Diageo has killed the Moon Mtn label (wines currently being sold off at http://www.invino.com and the vineyards sold)(watch for the remnants at the GO?), has shifted some of the 3 Palms Vineyard fruit from Sterling to Provenance) and seems to be phasing out the Jade Mtn label.

    1. lim13 Post author

      No problem, Nedra. Glad I could help. Should you decide to try a bottle or two, please let us know your perceptions of the wine. It’ll help others in making a reasonable purchasing decision.


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