Red Blends for Summer

Don’t you love a red wine blend? Layered, luscious, and lively, a blend delivers balance. It is likely why winemakers in regions like Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley require grapes to be blended, ensuring everything is kept in check to deliver a wine with harmony showing acidity and tannin, ripe fruit, and freshness.

Domaine de Mourchon sits at roughly 1000 feet above sea level in the hills between the village of Séguret and Mont Ventoux. From vines averaging 35 years old, the winery crafts their Séguret Cotes du Rhone Villages Grande Reserve from vines averaging 60 years old. A blend of predominantly Grenache with Syrah, the wine has complexity and concentration, with lively freshness and balance. Ripe and concentrated, but very silky and refined, with layers of red fruit, toasted spice, white pepper, and black licorice. A yummy food wine with roasted meat, charcuterie, or fresh cheese.

An utterly New World wine combining an unlikely array of varieties, including Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a touch of Tempranillo, Decoy Limited Napa Valley Red Blend ($30) is luscious, rich, and generous. Melding purple fruits with woody herb, leather, licorice, toasted spice, and blueberry pie, the wine is harmoniously indulgent, rich, and inviting. A great wine to pair with barbecued brisket or grilled ribeyes, and open an hour before dinner to allow the wine to breathe a bit before enjoying.

The perfect balance between acidity and tannin, power with freshness, Lake Sonoma Boar’s Blood Red Blend ($60) melds Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Sirah and Barbera. The Barbera brings acidity and freshness with a subtle earthiness, the Petit Sirah brings the power, and the Cabernet brings the structure. Add in 33 months of aging in partially new French oak, bringing the finesse, and softening the overall wine, and you have a final result that delivers an appealing, completely enjoyable selection. Juicy blackberry and blueberry open the wine, followed by dusty crushed stone and pencil lead. Slightly creamy and spicy on the finish, layering toffee and caramel notes with dark chocolate. An bold wine with almost 15% alcohol, so sip slowly, savoring each tasty minute.

A powerful blend of 80% Mouvèdre, 11% Syrah, 5% Graciano, 4% Grenache from completely dry farmed fruit aging between 50 and 90-year-old vines. Temperatures in the Chronic Cellars vineyards exceed 100+ degrees each summer, ripening robust, tannic fruit, creating powerful red wines. Though powerful, there is also beautiful refinement in the wines, delivering ripe blackberry, black plum, and dark cherry notes. Pair with grilled sausages or barbecued ribs, or brisket.

A gorgeous red blend from arid, sun-drenched vineyards in the Alentejo region of Portugal. The region is inland from Lisbon, almost to the border of Spain, and produces some of the most interesting, exciting, and affordable red and white wines in Europe today. Herdade do Esporao Reserva Red ($25) is crafted from a field blend of Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Syrah, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Touriga Franca, and aged in a combination of American and French oak for one year. The expressive wine is rich and complex with notes of black ripe fruit and spices. The wine is bold but maintains lovely acidity, making it a great partner to fatty dishes like ribeye steaks, pork sausages, or chicken with peri-peri sauce.