Happy Friday! I just got back from the gym and I'm ready for a nice glass of wine! Today I received a shipment of wine that I ordered from Doubleback Winery in Walla Walla. For those of you unfamiliar, this is the winery that was started a number of years ago (I believe they just released their 6th vintage of Cabernet, the 2012 which was in the shipment I received today) by former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe and his wife Maura. The Cabernet is the signature wine, but they also produce an intriguing table wine, the non-vintage Bledsoe Family Wine, which is sold in very interesting clear 1-liter bottles with a stopper similar to the ones Grolsch uses on their beer bottles (you can see it in the photos below).
The wine is a deep inky purple color in the glass, with bright ruby around the edges. The nose is an interesting combination of ripe plum, green herbs and a bit of mocha. The wine is really nice, with a blast of fruit up front, plum, tart cherry and raspberry, that transitions nicely to some mineral notes of dusty limestone. The tannins are a bit chewy, but supportive of the long, velvety and exceptionally dry finish. For a red table wine, it reminds me a lot of a good quality northern Rhone blend. Keep in mind, I didn't decant this wine, but it opens up very nicely with a couple hours of air.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, I really like it, and though not inexpensive at $38, it's certainly reasonable for an everyday wine. Now this may sound kitschy, but when I first saw the bottle, it reminded me of the big clear jugs of table wine my Italian neighbor Lidio used to drink when I was growing up. Granted it's not a gallon jug, but it still made me think this would be perfect with a classic spaghetti and meatballs, which is what I'm pairing it with tonight. It would also be ideal with a grilled steak or braised short ribs, almost any classic comfort food you could think of. Cheers!