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Red Blend Wednesday

Red Blend wines can be easily misunderstood…and we’ll be the first to stick up for them!  We’ve talked to several people who assume that blends are the result of wine “experiments” or simply cheap wines that were made to get rid of extra grapes. Well, we have no problem informing peeps that ALL wine is the creation of experimentation. We also love pointing out that highly regarded wines, such as Bordeaux and Chianti, are basically a nice blend of about 3 different grapes. We also love to share some of our favorites. Here are some affordable varieties and “blends” we’ve been enjoying this past week.

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GASCON Colosal Red Blend
61% Malbec, 16% Bonarda, 13% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendoza, Argentina
Vintage: 2011
Alcohol: 14.1%
Average Price: $15

Winemaker’s Notes:  As today’s esteemed Don Miguel Gascón Winemaker Ernesto says, “Colosal embodies the time-honored winemaking history of Don Miguel Gascón wines: the [flavor] intensity reflects its original strength when it was first released, which is softened by the elegance and finesse that distinguishes our wines today.”

Our Don Miguel Gascón Colosal Red Blend showcases the deeper, richer side of Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón. Distinctive flavors of dark blackberry, ripe plum and dark cherry meld with hints of oak, chocolate and mint for a big, bold, Colosal wine.

 Our Thoughts and Pairings: We are huge Gascon Malbec fans and we love us a red blend…needless to say this tasting was long overdue. The first thing to catch our attention was the color…a deep, ruby red. On the nose and on the tongue we caught a delicious combo of plum, mocha and blackberry. Touch of spice and oak. Velvety smooth, but a short, dry finish. We paired it with some steak salad and a vanilla cupcake, which really brought out the flavors of each…heaven! Great value for the price.

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RED BANDANA Anytime Red Wine
St. Helena, California
Vintage: 2011
Alcohol: 12.5%
Average price: $10

Winemaker’s Notes: A suite of California varietals have been crafted into this delicious fruit-forward blend. There are flavors of ripe strawberry, juicy blackberry, and cranberry with a soft, full mouth feel. Red Bandana is perfect for causal dining or served slightly chilled as a delightful aperitif.

Our Thoughts and Pairings: Ok, so the label is adorable. We couldn’t help ourselves. Once we opened the bottle we were a little hesitant. The tart scent of strawberry was pleasant, but unexpected. The first sip was much sweeter than expected, as well. The fruity flavors of strawberry jam and cranberry were nice, but begged us to chill the bottle and let it breathe for a bit. Would make a great substitute to a quick sangria, served up with some cheese and crackers. 😉

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Bodegas Ordonez ZERRAN D.O. Montsant Red Wine
50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo, 10% Syrah
Montsant, Spain
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 14%
Average price: $15

Winemaker’s Notes: Carved from the rugged terrain, Montsant one of the newest D.O.s in Spain is in fact one of the oldest wine growing regions in the entire Mediterranean area.  Vineyard cultivation dates back more than 2 millennia. The indigenous varietals Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Syrah cling to the steep mountainside plots; their roots struggling to gain a foothold in the rockbound soil. We are sure you will agree with us that Zerran is definitely the best wine you have tasted from Montsant.

 Our Thoughts and Pairings:  Favorite of the bunch!  A bright purple color with cherry, lightly floral and earthy aromas.  Fruity flavors of dark cherries , raspberries, blackberries and a hint of spice.  A nice long finish. This wine was very enjoyable all on it’s own, though it paired well with a variety of cheeses, from Gouda to Swiss to even Brie. A complex wine, in a good way. You would expect it to be much pricier than it is…excellent value for the price!

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Happy Wine Wednesday…Cheers!

~Vino & Vintage 

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One comment on “Red Blend Wednesday

  1. […] Red Blend Wednesday (vinoandvintage.wordpress.com) […]

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