Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the wines discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zinfandel meet in this dry red blend that pours a dark ruby hue. Its nose sends up fragrant suggestions of ripe black cherries, milk chocolate, and tart red currants. A mid-full-bodied wine out of California’s Dry Creek valley in Sonoma, it greets the palate like a hopeful suitor, leading with its gift of chocolate-covered cherry essence supported by a creamy in-mouth texture edged by hints of burnt sugar and molasses. The result is a flavor palate that calls to mind crème brûlée topped with fresh fruit. Just beneath the surface of these elements swim shades of oak, dried cranberry and cherry preserves.
There’s faint heat on the wine, owed, as one might expect of a wine with an alcohol content of 15.7%. Its tannins remain smooth and join a subtle acidity level to provide good counterbalance to the sweetness of fruit and chocolate. Its medium-long finish comes laced with berries and cream. Muscular as Dwayne Johnson, this is a robust blend whose squared shoulders and straightened back are more than capable of standing up to robust foods that are spicy and/or smoked. Drink it with charcuterie and hard cheeses, steak with peppercorns, or flavorsome cuisines like Indian or Thai. Because it is bottled unfined, it benefits from decanting before serving.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.