Vinted & Bottled by AWD Cellars, St. Helena, CA
Purchased: Corvallis, OR 11-6-2014
I don’t usually buy unknown (content or quality) red blends but the beautiful artwork on the label first attracted me, then I noticed that part of the proceeds went to charity (explained in the link above), so I bought it & the Chardonnay which will have a review to accompany it soon as well.
100% malolactic fermentation in French & American Oak.
So…that’s all the information I started out with (nothing available online that tells what the blend comprises). Bottled in St. Helena drew me. The RS and the 100% new oak put me off. This is pre-tasting.
Color: A nice, semi-transparent, burgundy/plum.
Nose: The first thing I noticed was a yeasty scent followed by alcohol. After several swirls, a plum-raspberry compote fragrance started pushing through.
Body: Medium-light. It’s almost a Pinot Noir style body. Too light for a predominantly Cab/Merlot blend.
Taste: Black cherry (slightly tart), a bit of iron/mineral taste followed by a bit of bread dough aftertaste. It actually, for the amount of RS it contains, has got a dryish (not dry, but dryish) mouthfeel. After a lot more swirling, a bit of plum and raspberry are coming through.
This is a conundrum wine. I don’t know what the blend is. The body is all wrong for cab/Merlot but it has some of each of the flavors. No one mixes Pinot Noir (TMK) in a blend, but the body resembles that. It’s way too fruity for a normal PN though so I’m ruling that out. The bit of bread dough reminds me more of old world wines (same with the lower alcohol taste) but the fruit forward-ness is more new world. Since I cannot define it for you, I’m doing my best to describe it. Perhaps someone else will buy a bottle and be able to define it. The bread-dough characteristic stays with it, but (as in some I’ve found) does not take it over. The mineral flavor stays in the background but is noticeable.
If you tasted the Four Star red…this is nothing like it. That one was more heavy bodied, a lot more full mouthfeel, slightly sweeter (I’m just giving reference points here since I’m at a loss) and definitely Zinfandel/Merlot/Cab. I only mention this because I’m rating this between Drinkable and Thumbs Up (it’s actually better than drinkable but I’m not going to run out and buy a case) and since that’s the only other red blend I’ve been enthusiastic about, I didn’t want you to think they were comparable, stylistically.
We saved the 2nd half for tonight so I’ll update if there are any significant changes. Otherwise, I would simply note that I think it’s a decently priced red blend that would go well with food or without.