18 November 2013

Red Rock Winery

I first wrote about the wines of Red Rock Winery back in 2008 when I braised a turkey leg in blueberries.

Red Rock only makes red wines, and these four bottles represent the entire product line. The grapes are sourced from throughout California vineyards to produce table wines in a big fruit, classic Golden State style. Keep these in mind as great matches for burgers, pizza... I affectionately refer to wines like these as "Tuesday night wines": not a special occasion, but more something that you open up after a long day at work and while having a normal weekday meal rather than a complex preparation of squid ink pasta with slices of raw scallops.

2011 Red Rock Winery Malbec
$14, 13.6% abv.

Although marked as a Malbec, California law only requires that 75% of the grapes are in the mix to bear the varietal name. For instance, this one includes Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon to add depth and structure. Dominant notes of plum and black pepper with a firm tannic understructure contributed by the darker grapes.

2012 Red Rock Winery Pinot Noir
$14, 13.6% abv.

A fairly standard bargain California Pinot Noir with lots of ripe strawberry aromas, mild tannins, and a short but tart finish. The most gentle of the quartet, though not quite delicate enough to pair with salmon.

2011 Red Rock Winery Merlot
$14, 13.74% abv.

A bright and fruity California Merlot full of black cherry aromas and flavors with a touch of spice. Round body and a long, mouth-drying finish.

2011 Red Rock Winery Winemaker's Blend
Proprietary Blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Zinfandel
$14, 13.5% abv.

The last one was my favorite of the batch, and represented a solid blend that achieved good balance. The initial sniff reveals dark blackberry and deep black fruit scents with matching flavors. Not jammy, but trending in that direction. The wine shows firm tannins with a long finish. Decanting is highly recommended to soften and further balance the wine.

Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.

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