In the past ten years there have been a lot of cowboy or western-themed wines. Typically these are big red blends, priced between $10-15, and aimed at convincing Joe Sixpack that wine can be manly too. Some examples: Frontier Red, Rustler's Red, The Show, Purple Cowboy, and Three Thieves. I don't know how successful this marketing strategy has been, but I know a few guys who might bristle at purchasing a bottle covered in flowers and French calligraphy. Comforting labels featuring cute animals helped move a lot of Australian juice--love it or hate it, introductory wine buyers can get scared by more traditional designs.
But just because a wine has a cowboy on it doesn't mean that it's a cheap wine made of random grapes picked throughout California. Bucking that trend is the 2007 Bad Boy Red made by Rocca Family Vineyard in Napa. $32, 14.5% abv.
This is a classic Bordeaux blend--thanks to the TTB we can't call it claret anymore. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot. From two vineyards in Napa: 78% from Collinetta Vineyard in Coombeville and 22% from Grigsby Vineyard in Yountville. 563 cases produced.
This is definitely a serious wine, not a marketing gimmick, and I love the heavy percentage of Cabernet Franc. Leather and roasted green pepper aroma, touch of cigar, hint of blueberries. On the palate it's smooth with medium tannins showing up on the finish. Blackberries and black cherries are present but there's a vegetal edge that keeps things serious. The Petit Verdot gives it a tiny floral element that's nice as well. I served it with smoked beef brisket, which seemed appropriate.
This wine was received as a sample from Rocca Family Vineyard.