Recently tried two red blends from the US. I generally don’t care for varietals since they are largely one trick ponies. They aren’t bad if they have one purpose, like accompanying a steak at a single meal but if I’m going to be sipping for hours, a blend is what I’m looking for.
Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet – a blend of Zin, Cab, Merlot and Petit Sirah. . I really avoided this wine. It seemed so damned trendy (oh I hate cupcakes) and the reviews seemed ridiculous with their claims. It’s often described as a lush wine (but I’ve found something even more so) and sweet. I don’t find it sweet until the very long finish and then it’s the sweet of summer blackberries, a fair amount of bitter in there too. The Merlot quiets the Cab’s ferocious tannins, giving the wine body. It reminds me of being in a darkly paneled study, not quite luxurious, a little glint off the polished wood, but appealing.
Menage a Trois California Red –. Same blend as above with Petit Sirah removed. Pretty standard blend. But they do *something*. I find this even more lush and more appealing than the Red Velvet, although they are extremely similar. It’s the boudoir with a velvet curtain hung about the warm, recently rumpled bed.