Not long ago, I walked into a local wine shop during their Saturday afternoon tasting hours. I know I’ve mentioned this store before – The Grateful Red – because I’ve purchased a number of my selections there in recent months. It’s a small but very friendly store, and they’re frequently doing wine and/or beer tastings. This time they had 4 wines out to be tasted. After a quick swig or two, I felt this one might prove the most interesting of the four. Although I’m not usually a sucker for a label, I did appreciate their somewhat unconventional approach and the implied pun.
Winemaker: X Winery
Wine: Big Gun
Varietal: Red Blend
Price: $15.99 at The Grateful Red
Notes: The color of this California blend made from 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, 27% Merlot and 6% Grenache grapes was a dark purple/red. On the nose I smelled dark fruit and what I would describe as compost. Acidity was all right, and the weight on the tongue was on the lighter side of medium. Tannins were also in the medium range, I thought. Flavors I tasted included cherry, red currant, clove, and pepper. Alcohol was at 14.5%. While I wasn’t bowled over by it, it might fit nicely into the holiday spirit(s) given it’s flavor profile.
Sign, signs, everywhere are signs …. You know that song by the Canadian group, Five Man Electrical Band?
Well … although I purchased this wine because it was identified as 100% Sangiovese by the store, I found that it is actually a Tuscan blend. Guess I should have done the same quick mobile internet check that I did when I bought the Ruffino Aziano. And, indeed, a quick online look tells us that this Rosso is made from 35% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, and 10% Ancellotta. But the sign said it was just Sangiovese! D’oh!
Varietal: Red Blend
Appellation: Toscana, Italy IGT
Price: $21.99 at The Grateful Red
Notes: The color of this Tuscan red was a deep ruby. On the nose I found pepper and spice, tangy berries and musty sod. The body was medium and acidity was high. Alcohol came in at 14%, and tannins were medium with an aggressive attack. On the tongue I got flavors of cherry, tea leaf, oak/wood, and lots of pepper.