Thursday, June 30, 2011

Branded for Quality and Affordability: Redd Brand

During these changing economic times, many a wine lover is thinking differently about the way they are buying their wines. They are not forsaking the grape, or even the best of the grape, as what a better way to calm our nerves and keep our heart healthy than with a soothing glass of great wine. However, many of us are not cracking open a $35 - $50 bottle of wine every night and looking for the more affordable, but still just as tasty, wines.

One thing in favor for us wine lovers, we are discovering more and more top-notch wineries who are finding ways to get us through this double-dip recession. One of the ways is to produce a "second" label. These "second" label wines are typically more affordable, while not forsaking quality. These are often "leftovers" where the harvest may have produced a percentage of extra barrels of quality wines, but more than what the winery required to achieve the perfect balance in their high-end blends or limited single variety production. Instead of selling the extra "juice" to another winery or negociants, many wineries are now using these wines as a second label that are not sold in the wineries, but only sold through wine shops and restaurants.

Enters "Redd Brand" to save the day - - and our pocketbooks and our discerning palate! Produced by Tertulia Cellars, Redd Brand is a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Carmenere, 4% Petit Verdot, & 2% Cabernet Franc. This 2008 vintage was sourced from Pepper Bridge, Blue Mountain, Lonesome Spring Ranch and Phinny Hill Vineyards. It is dark and opulent! The nose is smoky, meaty and with dark stoned fruit. The palate is full bodied with plums and dark cherries drenching the mouth. While this is branded as a second label, with bright and well-integrated acids, this wine will easily age well over the next ten years. But why? I say, drink it now and always.

The release on this hearty red couldn't be a perfect timing with summer BBQ's on the calendar. Anything on the grill with a western flair is going to pair well with Redd Brand. I am thinking beef 'n' veggie shish-ka-bobs, burgers, ribs, flatbreads and fresh picked wild berry cobblers. Even the attractive red paisley label is reminiscent of a cowboy 'kerchief and so appropriate as Redd Brand was named after a rancher by the name of Bill Redd. He was founder of the Red Meadow Bar in Helena, Montana. Cowboys and ranch hands gathered at this bar after a long day of hard and dusty labor to "wet their whistle." YEE-HAW!

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