Monday, April 4, 2016

Good Wine - No Joshing

Josh Cellars produced 130,000 cases of wine in 2012.  This year, they’ll put out nearly a million. They have reached that rarified area as fast - maybe faster - than any brand before them.  Owned by Deutcsh Family Wine and Spirits, the Josh brand has taken off in the $13 to $19 range.  That happens to be the fastest-growing segment in retail wine right now.  So, they are lucky. But people also like their story.

The winery's founder, Joseph Carr, chose the name Josh for his wine to honor his dad. His father’s name was Joseph, too, but his friends called him Josh. He was a soldier, a firefighter and a big proponent of “taking care of each other.” Winemaker Wayne Donaldson does both Joshes proud with his creations. The wines are good, they are priced well and people seem to be snapping them up almost like they do with Yellow Tail, the brand Deutsch is best known for.

Josh Legacy Red Blend 2013

The is wine mixes Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah & Petite Sirah in an inky blend that smells of blueberry, sage, mocha and tobacco. It is a fairly complex and dark aroma package.  On the palate, dark blue fruit is ripe and juicy, with acidity to spare and enough tannins to tackle a t-bone. The finish is medium-long and savory with a kick of coffee in it. Alcohol sits at 13.5% abv and it sells for $16.

Josh Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The blend here is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. It, too, is from the  California appellation, but the label promises fruit from Mendocino, Lake County, Napa Valley and Sonoma County along with other "premium California growing regions." Alcohol hits 13.7% abv and it’s also a $16 wine.

Aromas of blackcurrant and plum are forceful enough, and the accompanying oak spice is sweet yet pungent. There is a strong cedar and cigar component with a bit of black pepper thrown in. On the palate, the berry flavor is a little on the tart side, and spice notes meet some fairly dark earthiness. It’s a complex wine all the way around, and the tannins are big enough, but not too big. That tart, earthy feeling lasts into the long finish. It may not be exactly what you want in a Cab, but for a $16 wine, you get pretty good value for your money.

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