Drink Magazine

2009 Red Rock Winery Winemaker’s Blend

By Brian @WineInMyGlass

I think wine blends are very interesting. I enjoy trying them, because I’m never sure what it will be like. If I get a Zinfandel or a Chardonnay or a Syrah, I know basically what the wine will be like, as each grape variety has certain characteristics that almost always come through in the wine. With a blend, however, it’s more of a mystery. Sometimes the grape varieties used are listed on the bottle, and that gives some clues. Other times, it just says it is a blend. Even when I know what varieties are used, I don’t know how the winemaker combined them and what flavors of each grape will be prominent.

Red Rock Winery wine bottle
I also think the wine blends are the wines where the winemaker can best express himself or herself. No longer restricted to the expectations of a varietal wine, the winemaker can choose from a wide palette of grapes to make the wine that he (or she) wants to make.

For tonight, I decided on the Winemaker’s Blend from Red Rock Winery. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah.

There’s some fruit on the nose, but there’s also some chocolate. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled chocolate in a wine before. Sure, I’ve tasted it, but this is the first I’ve noticed it on the nose.

The fruit is very jammy. Strawberry jam, I think. Strawberries and chocolate. Not a bad combination. Wait … I think there’s a bit of cherry in there too. It’s starting to sound like ice cream topping now.

I get the same strawberry jam on the palate. There’s cherry, too. It’s like maraschino cherries. It finishes with some vanilla, chocolate, and a hint of cream. (This is definitely sounding like an ice cream sundae.)

The wine is very smooth. The acidity and tannins are both very mild, but not so mild that the wine is flat. It’s very easy drinking. I think this would be a good dessert wine.

The residual sugar, as shown on the datasheet from the winery, is 0.75 g / 100 ml. This is what I would consider an off-dry wine. The acidity is also a bit lower than typical dry red wines. This would be a good choice for someone that doesn’t like the very dry, tannic red wines, but doesn’t want an overly sweet wine.

This is a very enjoyable wine. I’ll give this a “Very Good” rating. I paid $11.99 for this wine. At this price, I’d recommend buying this wine, especially if you’re looking for something different than the typical varietal wines. You don’t get flavors like this with just one grape.

Wine Details
Producer: Red Rock Winery
Vintage: 2009
Appelation: California, with more than half from Sonoma County
Alcohol: 13.81% ABV
Residual Sugar: 0.75 g / 100 ml
Acidity: 0.53 g / 100 ml
pH: 3.82

My Rating: Very Good

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