I know that many people prefer light-bodied rosés during the warm months, but there are still a few cool evenings left—and that means there is still some remaining time to enjoy a full-bodied red wine. If you feel likewise, you should try the 2015 vintage of Niner Red.
This wine is a blend of nine estate-grown varietals consisting of 35% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot, and 2% Barbera.
The people at Niner hand-picked the grapes from three vineyards, Heart Hill (western Paso Robles), Bootjack Ranch (eastern Paso Robles), and Jespersen Ranch (Edna Valley) and then hand-sorted them at the winery. They used gravity feed for the juice and aged the wine for fourteen months in French and Hungarian oak, thirty-eight percent of which was new.
Some of you may be wondering about the presence of methoxypyrazine, the bell pepper flavor that is common in many wines made from Cabernet Franc and its descendants. Have no fear; there are no pyrazines here! The grapes were obviously ripe at harvest (26°Bx), thus reducing the presence of pyrazines, but the wine, while fruit-forward, has some complexity and does not cloy. It opens with a nose of blackberry and black cherry. On the palate, these flavors are joined by black currant, chocolate and a hint of black pepper. They carry through to a medium-long finish.
Niner Red is an enjoyable wine to drink on its own, yet it will pair very well with barbecue, grilled foods, and other summer fare. At $19.99 per bottle, I think you will be very pleased. Stop by O’Bryan’s and pick up a few bottles this week. Above all, have a great summer!