Whiplash 2009 “Redemption”

designated “California”; 13.2% ABV
65% Syrah, 25% Barbera, 10% Zinfandel
$4 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 23 Oct.  Online price around $10.

Whiplash_2009_RedemptionI tend to be repelled by wines with corny names and sourced over a wide region.  However, this one won me over by having a vintage and with the promising blend of three grapes I like that could go quite well together.  There’s no point in blending if the components have no character, and these grapes can all be nicely tangy.  When I read it, I thought the blend would have structure from the Syrah, acid from the Barbera, and spicy fruit from the Zin.  Although the wine was not like I imagined, it was still pretty good.

I was surprised because I had imagined a full-bodied red, but when poured it was on the lighter end of medium-bodied.  It was a bit dull until it had aired for about 15 minutes, when it became something like a nice Pinot Noir – delicate and very nuanced – with darker-than-Pinot flavors: blackberry, blueberry, sweet and tart red cherries, maybe black raspberry, only mildly tangy.  It did not really stand up to the kabobs I was eating.  After being open for about 45 minutes, the fruit became a little heavier, standing up better to the grilled meat, but becoming a little unbalanced.  After being open an hour, the wine integrated very nicely, showing its full complexity.  While I didn’t give it the chance to last until the next day, I’d bet this wine is best in the first couple hours after opening, as it’s quite soft and gentle.

Whiplash is a project of Reata at Jamison Ranch.


5 thoughts on “Whiplash 2009 “Redemption”

  1. lim13

    Had another bottle of this tonight and it hasn’t changed much from previous descriptions. I just don’t like it as much now. Seems rather cherry candyish (like inferior Pinot Noir) and just too fruity and simple. Upside: great acidity. For me, a quaffer and a decent summer red, slightly chilled on a hot day, but not a “serious” dinner wine. My last bottle…and that’s fine. Maybe the change in perception is because we had it after finishing the Contraste red (also purchased at GO) that I opened a couple days ago, which was much more full-bodied and complex.

  2. lim13

    Opened a bottle of this tonight and BW’s first post above fits quite well in my opinion. My notes: Clear medium ruby, but on the lighter side of that color; somewhat fruity raspberryish nose; on the front of the palate it tastes of red fruit…raspberry and cherry; seems more Barbera-like than the other two varieties involved; light, fruity and quaffable with decent acidity; I used much of it to cook lamb chops in, Ossobucco style. Tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary…and a little lighter than what I’d have preferred. We had a Cab with the lamb.

  3. BargainWhine Post author

    I opened a bottle of this wine on Thanksgiving and it was quite different than the bottle I reviewed above. I guess the flavors were pretty much the same, but instead of being restrained and Pinot Noir-like, it was more in the vein of being jammy and hard candy-like, although still medium-bodied. I’ve noticed before that the bottles I open right after they appear in the store can be somewhat different than bottles I open later, but this is strikingly different. My only guess is “bottle shock” from the recent transit.

    1. poursomemore

      There seems to be a little bottle variability on the Whiplash, which is somewhat troubling. The price during the sale makes up quite a bit for me, though. With respect to the Pellegrini Cloverdale Ranch 2009 Merlot (ongoing review), the screw cap wines (I believed introduced after the cork versions were released, but I have no idea) seem to have a little more depth and more fruit forward. I’m not sure what is going on, but I like both versions of the same wine. Worth a taste side-by-side, though. The Whiplash at $3.4/bottle (sale price) and the Pelligrini for $6.40/bottle (sale price) were both great deals. The former would be great for a house restaurant wine (times ten). It great at opening and holds up the day after opening, so perfect for folks waiting for dinner or those that just enjoy a glass at home. ..I’m a finance guy, so I’m not promoting restaurants by any stretch.
      For those looking for the 2003 Sawkar Family Vineyards Reserve Merlot (not my favorite because of the aged prune flavors), Heads up: Manteca had about a case and half as of Friday, 11/29. For the more adventurists, Jackson has about three cases as of today (11/30). This would be a good “after-ski” port-like wine or an arrival wine especially if you get to the cabin and its 37 degrees (inside). ….too many times for me.
      Best to all!

  4. poursomemore

    This wine is reminiscent of the Whitehall Lane white label wines (from about 15 years ago or more) that the wine maker would blend for early consumption. The winery sold these bottles in generic white label bottles.in the tasting room in barrels at the door (not kidding!). The grapes were intended for blending in the top shelf bottling(s), but fell into what was called a field blend possibly because they had too much. This wine is priced way too low for the quality. Everybody trying to achieve the ultimate field blend should take notice.


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