Tuesday night I attended an online tasting with The Purple Wine Company, a winery that makes wines under a variety of brands like Avalon and Bex. For this event we focused on big reds under the Four Vines and Cryptic labels.
Lots of these are blends without precisely labeled percentages, and winemaker Britt Moore referred to blending as something akin to putting all of your Lego blocks on the floor and building something until you're happy with it. The online tasting with fellow winebloggers was a lot of fun, and we got to try some delicious bottles.
2009 Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel
Zinfandel with a little Petite Sirah
$27, 15.6% abv.
2,678 cases made
The mildest of their blends, this one was engineered to be smooth. Chocolate, coffee, and leather with mild tannins and a touch of spice on the finish. Smooth but very dark and luxurious.
2010 Four Vines Maverick Zinfandel
Zinfandel with Barbera and a little Petite Sirah and Mourvedre
$22, 14.8% abv.
10,200 cases made
Loads of black pepper and cassis on the nose, with brambly tones. Wild and a little brash on the palate with medium tannins. Definitely a great match for grilled meats.
2009 Four Vines Biker Zinfandel
Zinfandel with a splash of Mourvedre
$27, 15% abv.
7,001 cases made
Lots of blackberry and a touch of fig with deep black fruit notes. Mellow tannins with a soft but long finish. Quite pleasant and relaxing. Serve with lamb or roast pork.
Paso Robles, Amador County, Lodi River Delta
$18, 14.3% abv.
44% Zinfandel, 24% Petite Sirah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Other Red
Cryptic is the newest brand and perfect for a Halloween party. The bottle arrived in a black veil, like that goth chick from back in high school. Ah, memories. This is full of dark berry flavors with spice deep under the fruit. Very affordable and stylish, and I love the mystery of the logo and simple cryptography on the back.
Note: These wines were received as samples.