Lunatic 2012 Red Blend $5.99

Luna Vineyards, Napa CA $25.00 SRV (still selling at the vineyard for that price)
14.5% ABV
Purchased: Corvallis, OR 1-7-2014

FullSizeRenderPicked a bottle of this up when I returned the Luna Cabernet. I would have bought more (based on my past history with the Lunatic Red 2010 blend) but I was not willing to tempt fate again after the 2011 Cabernet. I should have risked it. This is nice.

Being a 2012, it’s a lot more lush than the 2010 blend. Slightly different configuration too. This one is: 50% Sangiovese (Mendocino), 27% Syrah (Tehama) and 23% Cabernet (Lodi). It’s not as spicy as the 2010. But it has got layers and the body is a bit more rounded.

The wine is fruit forward (typical of most of the CA 2012’s) but well supported with a bit of smoke and leather. Not so much in the way of earth, but definitely some bbq undertones, and not so far under that they are barely noticeable; the fruit is nicely balanced with the savory.

Nose: Red/black fruit
Color: Burgundy/plum
Taste: First taste is a lot of blackberry jam & bbq smoke, then as it mellows in the glass you get some of the cedar, hints of mocha and the leather I mentioned earlier. Later with more air, there’s black pepper and cocoa added to the mix. It evolved pretty quickly in the glass though (similar to the 2010), tasting almost fruit-sweet (less of the other layers) about 3 hrs after opening. That would be its one drawback in my opinion.
Body: Medium/full. Light to moderate tannins.
Cellertracker notes

BW might find this too jammy, especially as it opens up. It’s not subtle but it’s not boring. Like I said, it’s rich/lush with layers of taste. If you like that (and I do), then for $5.99, I think it’s a bargain. Note that it is very much in the California style of wine, so if you prefer the subtler French blends, you might not appreciate it. For me, it’s a great option for a “daily drinker”.


19 thoughts on “Lunatic 2012 Red Blend $5.99

  1. lim13

    Opened my first bottle of this tonight. Clear deep ruby color; very fruit forward plummy, jammy nose and flavors; in the mouth it’s soft and lush and very fruity (blackberries and black plum with mocha) from super ripe grapes; moderate tannins and acidity; oak in the background; nicely balanced. I’m detecting a bit of residual sugar. Would be great with barbecue with sweet tomato based bbq sauce and did quite well with my homemade shrimp and sausage gumbo. I’d have never guessed there was Sangiovese in this wine..especially the largest percentage…but the Syrah is obvious. I would say this qualifies as an everyday fruit bomb…and I’m likin’ it. Thanks for (unknowingly) prompting me to try it, PW.

  2. EHL

    Tried a bottle of this recently, having bought one for $5 at Oakland, where they have had several cases for quite awhile.

    It’s a nice Red blend, smooth and accessible from first cracking the Stelvin cap and over the next two days. Didn’t notice any barnyard funk or other prominent overtones in the nose.

    If you like fruity, jammy and slightly sweet wines that go down easy, as do many of my acquaintances, than this will be a dependable pleaser for gatherings.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hey, EHL. Thanks for your input on this one. It’s funny how so many different people get such different things out of the same wine. I’m confident though that it’s not bottle variation in this case.

      So far, except for the current Luna Cabernet, I’ve pretty much been a fan of their offerings. (Especially at GO prices)

      1. EHL

        Hey PW…thanks for your many informative reviews of the wines available in your neck of the woods.

        Also, hope you guys up North get to start sharing in the bounty of memorable CA Reds that have been surfacing in the SF Bay area recently!

        1. lim13

          In regard to your second comment, EHL…I’m beginning to think that’s not very likely. But appreciate your “hope”.

        2. permiesworld Post author

          lol Lim! After just returning from a GO run, I’m thinking that the wine sale isn’t happening for me. They are going to call me if they get anything new in. That’s the best info I have.

  3. permiesworld Post author

    I wanted to update on this one a bit. After JWC’s comments that it was a “cautious thumbs up”, we bought a couple of bottles from other stores to see if there was bottle variation. We haven’t encountered any.

    In fact, we’ve ended up liking it so much, we bought a case of it . Now, the reason I wanted to elaborate is that I’ve got further thoughts on this one…

    A friend tried it and hated it. lol And our tastes mesh on a lot of wines. But not this one. She said “it is way to much barnyard” for her. (That was a warning…because I think this one is a bit polarizing.)

    And that’s where I wanted to update…it really isn’t a wine for the faint of heart. There is earth. There is leather. There is funk. There also is fruit. It’s not delicate. It’s hearty and IMO got a lot of nuances, some subtle, some not so much…for the money, it’s the best thing that has gone through our local GO’s since the Le Riche (again, IMO).

    1. jwc

      I did see this at my local Safeway for $14.99 vs the regular price of $19.99. It’s unusual to see a GO wine on the shelves of a large retailer, so for $6 here in Portland, a solid QPR. There seems to be plenty of it around.

  4. jwc

    I picked up a bottle tonight, Liked the Stelvin closure, the Syrah dominated the show, even though Sangiovese comprises 50% of the blend. I like this effort, not doing cartwheels, but a nice everyday red or 2nd bottle. Light Thumbs Up.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      Agreed, Syrah really does take over this one. I don’t mind though. The Cab gives it enough weight to have a nice body and I like the flavors. Then again, I’m not a fan (I should say rarely, I do like a good Brunello) of Sangiovese on it’s own so maybe that’s why I do like the blends with it.

  5. lim13

    Kind of a questionable label in this world of sickos and murderers. Does it say anything on the back about the label, PW?

    1. permiesworld Post author

      You know, I wondered why they changed it, it is somewhat off-putting. I didn’t realize it was even the same company at first. The 2010 was a simple black label like their Luna line.

      The only reference on the back to the label is a photo of open handcuffs, a key and the phrase “Set yourself free.”

    2. permiesworld Post author

      We did end up picking more of this. For the price, nothing in this particular style has come close to its interest, of late. It’s definitely not in the caliber of the Le Riche or the Emigre (but it’s a far cry from the wines you pay $5.99 for and get zero nuances).

      1. Millerocce

        Just tasted this in Austin, Texas last week. Wish I could find it in my local GO (Sacramento,Ca)

  6. BargainWhine

    Hi PW. Thanks for trying this one. I’ve seen it around here, too. And I’m glad you had better luck with it than with the Luna 2011 Cabernet.

    After the recent discussions here, mostly with Darrell, I’m thinking now that a lot of what I’ve complained about as “jammy” is mostly strong American oak, with its artificial vanilla and what I perceive as cooked rhubarb. True, it’s not my favorite style, but notice I didn’t complain too much about the EOS Vintage Revenge Red that Lim13 recently posted notes on.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      I see what you are saying. It does have a strong blackberry jam flavor on the fruit side, when it opens up it’s extremely fruity, but not the vanilla/oak/rhubarb thing. At least, to me.

    2. Darrell

      Yeah, I have this proclivity to reduce things to it’s basest with qualifiers. For instance, if somebody asked me what is this Agaricus-spore-print-colored ( for us wild mushroom pickers) stuff that melts at body temperature and smells so good, I would say that’s chocolate and leave it at that and would never attempt to describe the taste of chocolate. I am practiced at this due to the kids asking me what this or that was in the wine and would tell them, but they would want more descriptors and my response was, OK, tell me what chocolate tastes like without using the word chocolate and that would stop the questioning.


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