Sunday, November 29, 2009

Menage a Trois 2007



I love autumn.  I live in Southern California, so that's not exactly the same sentiment you get when someone from, say, Vermont claims to like autumn.  They get a real autumn in Vermont, complete with changing colors and the onset of cold weather.  Here in Southern California we get fire season.


I actually like the low humidity a lot - as long as it doesn't mean raging brush fires - and when that first cool snap finally comes, I wish there were some brightly colored fallen leaves to run through.  The closest we get to that is a palm frond or two blown down in the gusty winds.  As I write this it's a chilly 57 degrees outside!  (Pause for laughter from everywhere else.)


One way I can celebrate autumn - even without the foliage - is with a nice red wine.  I'm so drawn to whites and roses all summer that my shift into reds serves as my foliage change.  You'll be seeing a lot more reds in this space in the coming months.  If they all taste as good as this one, I'll consider Autumn 2009 a success.


Despite the French monicker, Menage a Trois is a California blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine pours up a very deep red.  It has quite a fragrant nose, due partially to the grapes and partially to the French and American oak used in the barrels.  The dark fruit comes across strong and rich as I sniff it, and there's a trace of smokiness.  They say the Zin is for jamminess, the Merlot is for mellow and the Cabernet is for backbone.  That's pretty much the way it comes across on the palate.  Fruit is huge - blackberries mostly - and there is some smoke flavor along with a trace of pencil lead.  A spicy, peppery taste also comes forth.  It's a little bit rough at first, but let it sit a half hour or so and it should be nice and mellow.  It's priced quite well, $10 at Cost Plus World Market.  At 13.5% abv, the alcohol doesn't knock you over like some Zins do these days.


Winemaker:  Folie A Deux Winery

Varietal:  Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Appelation:  California > Napa Valley

Vintage:  2007

Alcohol Level:  13.5%

Price:  $10

Acquisition disclaimer:  This wine was purchased by the author; $10