Friday, October 11, 2013

Troublemaker Non-Vintage Red

Some winemakers see trouble when they produce a non-vintage wine.  Vintage, after all, is a prime factor to which wine lovers look when determining the quality of a wine.  Perhaps more important in wines from French regions than in those from California's warmer locales, the vintage has become blurred in Hope Family Wines' Troublemaker red blend produced in Paso Robles.

The winery's website calls Troublemaker "a blend crafted from multiple varietals and vintages. The majority of wine comes from 2011 vintage, with a remaining portion coming from 2010.  By using a multi-vintage approach, winemaker Austin Hope allows the wine to show uncanny complexity in its youth, yet rich and fruit-forward characteristics that make it ready upon release."

The blend is 50% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Zinfandel and 10 % Petite Sirah, from California's expansive Central Coast appellation.  The wine kicks 14.5% on the alcohol meter and retails for $20.  I was provided a sample from a publicist.

The grapes involved bring forth the attributes for which they are known.  Troublemaker is a very dark-colored wine, with an extremely fragrant nose of black currant, blueberry, vanilla spice and cinnamon.  There is quite a show of Syrah, Zinfandel, Mourvèdre and Petite Syrah.  On the palate, a rich and ripe fruit display shows dark fruit in the form of plums and blackberries. Spicy with the nice acidity one would expect in a Grenache, and with firm tannins, the wine is smooth enough to provide enjoyment as a sipper while maintaining good structure to allow for pairing with some meaty dishes.

If you are looking for a nice, affordable red to put on the holiday table, this Troublemaker won't cause any trouble in that setting.


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