Noswaith dda, croeso i BWR. Mae'n dda gen i gwrdd â chi! Welcome to the world of Welsh wineblogging. May vowels be damned. I'm excited to write about... wait a second, this wine is from California and just has a Welsh name and theme. Mae'n ddrwg gennyf...
My first exposure to anything Welsh (aside from whatever Cymry blood flows through my veins) was in the form of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, about the heroic ascent of a pig-keeper. (Granted, the pig was magical, and there were villains and monsters and other neat things, not the least of which was the bard Fflewddur Fflam, whose name always caused me regret during Scrabble games.) I chose to read some of the original source material in the form of the dense Mabinogion legends. There I was introduced to a lot of obscure mythology that hasn't really made it into English literature, song, or popular culture. And one of those figures was Rhiannon, a queen or a goddess that might be a reflection of the earlier Gaulish horse goddess Epona, which is why she's depicted as a fetching copper-maned hybrid on the wine label.
Speaking of which, let's get our heads out of the 11th century and talk about the wine.
2010 Rhiannon Red Wine
Proprietary blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera
$15, 13.5% abv.
15,000 cases made
This is made by the Rutherford Wine Company, whose products I've reviewed recently. It's a ripe and fruity red blend with a lot of red cherry elements and a bright, clear mouthfeel. Low acidity and medium tannins, with an aftertaste of blackberries and black cherries. It's an interesting blend of grapes, and while I think that the Zinfandel carries most of the tune, the supporting players are definitely present.
I find it to be a fruity and pleasant afternoon sipper, good with weekend lunch fare and also one of those wines that's not going to be too aggressive for those just getting into red wines. It's a good example of the great power wine has: fruit flavors without sweetness, which is something so dearly lacking in American beverages. So throw a few burgers on the grill, maybe braise a few leeks in honor of the Welsh, pop the cork on this darling and shout a cheerful Iechyd da!
Note: This wine was received as a sample.