As I gear up for the fall season and test my ability to remain sober whilst attending all the fall trade tastings, I am reminded that it’s not just about me! Everyone has different tastes and whilst they may not be to my liking, they are to that individual and it would seem reasonable that I, as a wine merchant, should be cognizant of that demand. So, I thought what better way to restock Wine at Five than to ask my customers, and readers what their favorite wines are. So, if you want to participate, feel free to e-mail me back with a few of your favorite wines. If you can’t remember the name, maybe send me what you like in a wine – do you like it rich and high in alcohol (like an Amarone or a Californian Cabernet), do you want it to be silky smooth and white with a hint of oak, like a well balanced French Burgundian chardonnay? Would you like to see more Malbecs, or more Australian wines? Let me know so that when I go to these tastings I can go with a ‘shopping list of desires.’
And to that point I was working on the wines for the September Wine of the Month Club and I wanted to highlight the Oregon Wine Trail. But I didn’t want to choose only Pinot Noir because everyone knows that Oregon grows some of the best US pinots around. And I found an absolute gem. It happens to be made by a distiller who I came across many years ago and whose whiskies and gins I have become very fond of. Tad Seestedt grew up on a farm in up-state New York. From when he could remember he wanted to leave the farm and leave the bitter cold. But a few years of working as a para-legal and at other various box office environments, he couldn’t wait to get back on a tractor. Moving out to Oregon in 1993 that’s exactly what he did. First as a master distiller and then, once he realized the potential of the land he had bought, as a wine maker.
The Ransom Red Blend is a perfect mix of some of heady grapes. Tempranillo, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The Malbec worried me a little – it’s not one of my favorites, but other people seem to love it. So, there was a little risk in choosing it for the club – until I tasted it. Wow. What a gem. It really is perfectly balanced. It tastes like a well-oiled Bordeaux but without the greenness that many Bordeaux’s exhibit. The Tempranillo adds that smokiness that you associate with a great Rioja, the Cabernet Franc adds depth and color, and the Malbec adds the richness. To round it out the grenache brings in some spiciness and garigue. I must admit, I never expected to enjoy the wine this much. I short-listed it because of what it was and where it came from. I probably wouldn’t have run across it during my normal research, but am I glad I did. To me it is the perfect fall red. All the right flavors, nothing OTT and the price is totally right.
My tasting notes, if you have read all this way you are probably interested – opens with black cherry, licorice and baking spice. Full bodied but well balanced, fine tannins wrap around a core of dense black fruit. Screw cap (love) but a wine worth cellaring because it has age potential of at least 10 years.
I bought a limited amount of cases for the Wine of the Month Club, but I will get more in toward the end of the week. If you are interested in buying some click on the button below and let me know quantities.
Per Bottle: $20.00
Per 6pack: $18.00 ($108)
Per Case: $16.50 ($198)