In many ways, this wine sort of sums up what the HSC is all about. You have here a very moderately priced wine that would be fine to take or bring nearly anywhere. It is not really an ultra-cheapie, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be out of place with wines costing much more, say 4 or 5 times the cost of this one, maybe even more. It is Blend and that blend is of some of the heavier ones, Syrah, old-vine Zin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah, yet it does not drink that way at all.
This should be a somewhat aggressive and heavy wine, yet, while not quite light, the body is not imposing at all. The taste is something far more fruity. In fact, if someone asked me for an example of fruit-forward, this would be among my short list to choose. There is a decent depth to this as well, but it is balanced and structured extremely well and holds that nearly all the way through, one of the beauties of wine, I’d say, in that it doesn’t require constant agitation to keep all the elements in play. I’m not sure if stunning is too strong of a word to use for this one, but it is both spectacular and delicious.
This goes a long way to sort of bring to the fore that a blend, when done right, is nearly always competition for my favorite type of wine. It’s been quite a while now that I make it a habit to check the blend area of my favorite wine store in Salt Lake in the hopes I’m rewarded by gems such as this, which more than makes up for the more frequently misfires. Much of the HSC testing and drinking is frequently done to sort of establish favorites. My favorite region, by quite a margin, is the southern part of Italy, though California, with entries like this, keeps on banging my door, perhaps to remind me that while other parts of the world may be more famous, California can more than hold its own in terms of quality. Quite simply, some of the best wines in the world are made within the bounds of the United States and they produce wine just as good as – and frequently better than – anyone else on the planet.
This one I’ve never seen on SPA, but it is relatively new to the shelves, so that could change. It is low-priced enough at $12 or so that I wouldn’t ever hesitate to pick up a bottle, making it a Standard. It’s also one of the few I’m semi-interested in storing, just to see the complexions of it change and any of those wines I’ve mentioned tend to be good for racking. Then again, though, it is aged, so that strategy may not work. It is certainly one that is eminently drinkable now.