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Red blends are trending. And, it’s true that many of them are very ripe, lush, and maybe even a little sweet. But that’s not what all of them are like.  Here’s a range of red blends, from $15 to $45 that are rich and layered and staying clear of any sweetness.  Happy drinking!

 

Lyeth 2014 Meritage Blend

Grape(s): 41% Petit Verdot, 27% Malbec, 19% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Carmenere, & 1% Merlot

Region: Sonoma County, Ca

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Elements of blueberries, black cherries, and plums meld with suggestions of all-spice and floral earth on the nose. The palate combines flavors of cherry, blueberry, and dark plum with nuances of earth and Christmas spices. Rich fruit and compelling layers make this a fine wine from around $20.

Rating: 90

Josh 2014 “Legacy” Red Blend

Grape(s): 44% Merlot, 44% Zinfandel, & 12% Petite Sirah

Region: California

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of black and red fruit pull one into a glass, along with whispers of spice and toasted nuts. The palate unfurls with cherry, boysenberry, and plum flavors opening up into expressions of pepper, clove, and pecans. Plush but fairly layered for an inexpensive blend, it’s a nice buy for around $15.

Rating: 89

Murrieta Well 2014 “The Spur” Red Blend

Grape(s): 45% Cabernet, 22% Petite Sirah, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, & 9% Cab Franc

Region: Livermore Valley, California

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Lush fruit aromas come forth on the nose, as blueberries, blackberries, and cherries interweave among hints of violets, anise, and clove. Velvety tannins frame blueberry, black cherry, and blackberry flavors along witu accents of licorice, vanilla, and clove. Supple with nice fruit, it’s a well-craft red blend.

Rating: 91

Orin Swift 2015 “Machete” Red

Grape(s): Petite Sirah, Syrah, & Grenache

Region: California

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers a mix of dark fruit, clove, and earth.  It’s quite smooth on the palate, with dark fruit flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, and cherry taking lead with notes of cocoa, brown spice, and dusty earth. Fruit-driven but balanced by a mineral backbone, open a bottle with your favorite gourmet BBQ dish.

Rating: 91