February arrived, as did the first rain in many months. Another clue that February is here? Our next mystery box from K&L Wines. As you might remember, our son and daughter-in-law gave us the gift of K&L’s wine of the month club for Christmas. It is hard to describe the anticipation felt each month as the shipping box is sliced open. What will we taste this month?
This month’s shipment contained a Riesling from Germany and a Red Blend from Washington state. Given the cold and rainy day we were enjoying, we checked out the Red Blend. The tasting crew at K&L selected a 2011 vintage from North by Northwest. The tasting notes (a really nice part of each month’s package) told us that every year’s Red Blend had a slightly different combination of grapes. This year, they blended 56% Syrah, 31% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and just a hint (1%) of Malbec. How that little splash of Malbec could impact the wine is a mystery, but the results speak for themselves.
Like many younger wines, this Red Blend took a few minutes to breath and open up. Very quickly, though, this wine settled in and delivered some amazing flavor. The initial nose had hints of leather and hay, an enticement to that first wonderful sip. We also noticed some amazing tears on the glass, which fascinated us.
The flavors really delivered on the promise. We found great balance between tannins and acid, a warm and pleasing sip throughout. There were notes of dark fruit, especially plum at the finish. A smooth blend of fruit and spice that played well across the tongue and left the palate clear and ready for another taste. This wine should pair well with red meat and pizza, but could play just as well with popcorn and a movie on a rainy Saturday.
We are pretty much California wine snobs, so we were sceptical when we first saw this bottle. The folks at K&L fought an uphill battle with this Washington wine. They won!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?