Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

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J3ff S@g@n
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Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#1 Post by J3ff S@g@n » February 5th, 2019, 8:49 am

any good ideas?

Friendly competition among friends.

thx

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#2 Post by PeterH » February 5th, 2019, 9:10 am

That is a tough question to answer. A wine that might wow one group could stand out as a confected oaky mess for another. Care must also be taken to not provide a wine that is way too young. Then there is the matter of varietal preference. Not many Pinots are going to impress a Cab crowd, and a stunning cool climate Syrah will be a turn-off for the inexperienced.

Can you give more background?
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#3 Post by JohnP » February 5th, 2019, 9:30 am

I'd recommend finding a 15-20 year old vine zin. Maybe something like 2002 Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel on winebid for $45. If it doesn't win WOTN, at least you'll catch a buzz, alc 16.6%, lol.
Last edited by JohnP on February 5th, 2019, 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#4 Post by J3ff S@g@n » February 5th, 2019, 9:36 am

PeterH wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 9:10 am
That is a tough question to answer. A wine that might wow one group could stand out as a confected oaky mess for another. Care must also be taken to not provide a wine that is way too young. Then there is the matter of varietal preference. Not many Pinots are going to impress a Cab crowd, and a stunning cool climate Syrah will be a turn-off for the inexperienced.

Can you give more background?
Thx

Will be half men / half women. Would guess more of a cab crowd, but again guessing.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#5 Post by J3ff S@g@n » February 5th, 2019, 9:36 am

JohnP wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 9:30 am
I'd recommend finding a 15-20 year old vine zin. Maybe something like 2002 Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel on winebid for $45.
thx will look into!

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 5th, 2019, 9:37 am

2016 vieux donjon

Sauternes is a good choice too.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#7 Post by Markus S » February 5th, 2019, 9:44 am

Montelfalco Rosso
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#8 Post by Ian S » February 5th, 2019, 10:32 am

Cab crowd? Bring Chappellet Signature from 2012 or before with the exception of 2011.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#9 Post by JohnP » February 5th, 2019, 10:37 am

Ian S wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:32 am
Cab crowd? Bring Chappellet Signature from 2012 or before with the exception of 2011.
This could be a good play, love the 12 Chappellet, but unless you bought it on release, it's probably more like $60+ on retail market.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#10 Post by PeterH » February 5th, 2019, 10:52 am

Carlisle and Bedrock are excellent bets if going for a Zin. That should please a Cab crowd, and gets more bang for the buck.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#11 Post by Josh Grossman » February 5th, 2019, 10:59 am

Sounds like this group isn't pros nor anti flavor wine elite. For people in that crowd I would recommend 2012 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank, a lush mouth-coating wine with a long finish: https://www.winesanywhere.com/sku19237.html

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#12 Post by PeterH » February 5th, 2019, 11:18 am

JohnP wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:37 am
Ian S wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:32 am
Cab crowd? Bring Chappellet Signature from 2012 or before with the exception of 2011.
This could be a good play, love the 12 Chappellet, but unless you bought it on release, it's probably more like $60+ on retail market.
I just got a local newsletter offering it at $62 "on sale".
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#13 Post by B. Buzzini » February 5th, 2019, 11:24 am

Something with uniqueness usually wins these sort of things...a unique nose or flavor that grabs your attention quickly. I'd pick something like a Faury St Joseph VV with its blood iron and smoke...a Cote Rotie with amazing perfume florals from the viognier...or a Outpost Zinfandel which shows killer black pepper spice.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#14 Post by MBerto » February 5th, 2019, 11:27 am

Marquis de Riscal Reserva would show well to a Cab crowd, although if you want to win empty the bottle and fill it with the Prisoner instead
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#15 Post by seanr » February 5th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Ridge Zin (lytton springs comes to mind -45$) I've had a number of WOTN's with these....

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#16 Post by z_hart » February 5th, 2019, 12:28 pm

My vote would be Bedrock Vineyard Heritage Red, Sonoma Valley. The 2017 is ~$45. It is ~55% zin, but is a 'cab drinkers zin'. Its an interesting wine that appeals to many pallets in that price point. For what it's worth, Parker routinely rates them 93-96 points.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#17 Post by J.Vizuete » February 5th, 2019, 12:35 pm

I agree with B.Buzzini - go for something that will stand out. A big nose captivates attention in a crowded tasting.

For cab lovers, fully agree with a Carlisle syrah, Outpost zin, or consider a 2015 K vintners syrah. The beautiful is a ridiculously aromatic and tasty wine at $50-60. I’m a big fan of Pax but his wines can be a bit polarizing. Bedrock is great but the heritage needs significantly more time. The suggestion of 2016 Vieux Donjon is a great one too as young CNDP (<5 years) may be perceived as fresh and lively against a bunch of darker profile cabs. Although Aalto has been a textbook example of “modern” Tempranillo, the 2015 was very tasty, with bright red fruit and a more judicious use of oak. Spainish wines crush it in QPR in settings like this. Look to priorat which can have some of those violet, smoky aromatics as well
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#18 Post by David Cooper » February 5th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Well under $50 is 2009 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza. Really excellent traditional Rioja in a rich style.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#19 Post by Viet Ly » February 5th, 2019, 1:13 pm

J.Vizuete wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 12:35 pm
I agree with B.Buzzini - go for something that will stand out. A big nose captivates attention in a crowded tasting.

For cab lovers, fully agree with a Carlisle syrah, Outpost zin, or consider a 2015 K vintners syrah. The beautiful is a ridiculously aromatic and tasty wine at $50-60. I’m a big fan of Pax but his wines can be a bit polarizing. Bedrock is great but the heritage needs significantly more time. The suggestion of 2016 Vieux Donjon is a great one too as young CNDP (<5 years) may be perceived as fresh and lively against a bunch of darker profile cabs. Prob too young on the bedrock. Although Aalto has been a textbook example of “modern” Tempranillo, the 2015 was very tasty, with bright red fruit and a more judicious use of oak. Spainish wines crush it in QPR in settings like this. Look to priorat which can have some of those violet, smoky aromatics as well
I was able to taste a line up of K Vintner syrah including the 2015 Beautiful recently at a wine bar and agree with your post. Very expressive dark fruit with lush texture and easy to drink. Not something I seek out to purchase nowadays but I think it would do well with this type of crowd.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#20 Post by Josh H » February 5th, 2019, 1:23 pm

Funny, K Vintners The Beautiful and Ovide were going to be my recommendations. Or, to throw people for a loop, go with Guido from K Vintners, which is a sangiovese. Being that it’s a Washington sangiovese, it’s very interesting and it’s a flavorful crowd pleaser. I’m not sure where you shop, but Total Wine started carrying a few bottles of it towards the end of last year.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#21 Post by John Glas » February 5th, 2019, 2:09 pm

What Josh H said:
2015 K Vintners Syrah The Beautiful - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (10/29/2018)
Day 1: Not what I would expect from Washington State. Very Northern Rhone. White pepper, game, violets, earth and black licorice. This has a medium to long finish and is quite a complex wine. Not many would pick Washington State in a blind tasting. I am quite please with this day 1 showing on quite a young wine. Should evolve on day 2, 3 and possibly 4. 94 points
Day 2: Violets, white pepper, soy sauce, game and menthol. This has the least amount of fruit I have ever tasted from a Washington State Syrah but I love this wine! One of the more interesting wines of the year for me. A must buy! 95 points
Day 3: Holding form from day 1 and 2. I love this wine.
Recommendation: Buy three or four and try one young and see how this evolves over the years. I see this as a 15 year wine. One of my top wines of the year considering the price of $45. (95 points)

Might be harder to find but a crowd favorite:
2010 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Temperance Hill - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (2/2/2019)
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. California Pinot Noir (Minneapolis): Day 1: Wow! Amazing complexity and vibrant nose. The favorite wine of the group. Cranberry, spice, rose petals and earth. Medium plus finish and good acidity. This wine has many years ahead based on where it is now. Drink now to 2024. 94 points
Day 2: Amazing. I highly recommend experiencing this wine on day 2. Wonderful nose of cranberry, forest floor, rose petals, spices and wafer. Medium plus finish and acidity balances out this amazing wine. Could be the best Pinot from Oregon for me since the epic 2007 White Rose. 95 points
Day 3: Still amazing. This wine has a long life ahead.
Recommendation: Drink now to 2024. This is one of the best Pinots I have ever tasted from Oregon!!! (95 points)
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#22 Post by John Davis » February 5th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 9:37 am
2016 vieux donjon

Sauternes is a good choice too.
Especially if the do the Sauternes is at the end. In our group stickies at the end of the tasting often really shine.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#23 Post by Eric S n y d e r » February 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm

Depends on the crowd, but Ridge Geyserville is what jumps to the front for me.

If you want something that will stand out as BIG and make everything else seem a little thin, go for a Napa Petite Sirah, maybe a Switchback Ridge.

I love Carlisle Syrah as a complex crowd pleaser. There’s always something “else” that makes it stand out.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#24 Post by Mike Kuller » February 5th, 2019, 3:59 pm

2016 Bedrock Old Vines.

The Bedrock Heritage is higher rated and will age better, but fruit and drinkability usually win blind tastings.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#25 Post by NickRut » February 5th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Venge Silencieux 2015 is the best crowd pleasing cab I’ve had for that price point. Not overly complex but good stuff for the price imo
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#26 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » February 5th, 2019, 4:39 pm

Eric S n y d e r wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Depends on the crowd, but Ridge Geyserville is what jumps to the front for me.
Ridge is what I bring when I either don't really know the audience or know it's a mixed group. I'm not sure I have encountered anyone that didn't like Ridge Geyserville, and most just love it.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#27 Post by John O' » February 5th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Best under $50, 2009 Bordeaux you can find
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#28 Post by Andrew Demaree » February 5th, 2019, 5:04 pm

Bucklin ‘Ancient Field Blend’ Old Hill Ranch. Excellent stuff.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#29 Post by Matt W » February 5th, 2019, 5:08 pm

Dirty and Rowdy Mourvèdre. Not a lot of people know that grape and those that do will be surprised by how bright, clean and tasty Hardy’s wines are. Highly recommend.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#30 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » February 5th, 2019, 5:11 pm

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#31 Post by Chr!s G|@rn3r » February 5th, 2019, 5:14 pm

NickRut wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 4:27 pm
Venge Silencieux 2015 is the best crowd pleasing cab I’ve had for that price point. Not overly complex but good stuff for the price imo
This is a good call. I found the 2015 complex After 5+ hours of air.

The 2016, not so much.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#32 Post by lleichtman » February 5th, 2019, 5:32 pm

JohnP wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:37 am
Ian S wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:32 am
Cab crowd? Bring Chappellet Signature from 2012 or before with the exception of 2011.
This could be a good play, love the 12 Chappellet, but unless you bought it on release, it's probably more like $60+ on retail market.
+1, price is still quite reasonable.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#33 Post by Nathan Smyth » February 5th, 2019, 6:29 pm

If it's just newbies & neophytes & blowhards, then the wine you're looking for is the Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, at very roughly $39.99 to $49.99 [it'll be mostly the 2016 in the supply channel right now, with maybe just a little of the 2015 here & there].

I bet you might even be able to win if you were to go downmarket by about 60%, and serve the Hope family's "Treana" Cabernet Sauvignon, at roughly $19.99 to $24.99.

The Treana has been as high as the #3 label overall at Vivino [and Vivino must have tens of thousands of labels in their database now].

In fact, I bet that if you snuck the Treana in there with the Austin Hope, then they'd finish #1 and #2 [in one order or the other].

PS: This advice is decidedly not for AFWEs.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#34 Post by Cris Whetstone » February 5th, 2019, 6:44 pm

Most recent vintage you can find of a Rivers Marie Sonoma Coast Pinot.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#35 Post by Michael Martin » February 5th, 2019, 6:44 pm

I used to do things like this all the time and the wine that wins usually is something I would never buy myself.
Don’t bring anything too complex. People won’t get it. Just because you dig it, doesn’t mean everyone else will.
Sweeter reds suck, but usually stand out as more “drinkable”. I know, good god, right?
Winners tend to be the zag in a room of zigs. Be different.
Hope you win the $50.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#36 Post by Mike Kuller » February 5th, 2019, 6:47 pm

Be sure to share the results. Your wine and name the others.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#37 Post by Karl K » February 5th, 2019, 7:21 pm

2012 CVNE Imperial

Or Bedrock Heritage as mentioned
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#38 Post by John Morris » February 5th, 2019, 7:29 pm

J3ff S@g@n wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 9:36 am
JohnP wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 9:30 am
I'd recommend finding a 15-20 year old vine zin. Maybe something like 2002 Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel on winebid for $45.
thx will look into!
The 2002 is 16.6% (!!) alcohol. .
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#39 Post by John Morris » February 5th, 2019, 7:30 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 4:39 pm
Eric S n y d e r wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Depends on the crowd, but Ridge Geyserville is what jumps to the front for me.
Ridge is what I bring when I either don't really know the audience or know it's a mixed group. I'm not sure I have encountered anyone that didn't like Ridge Geyserville, and most just love it.
Yes, a Ridge Geyserville or Lytton Springs could span a lot of different tastes. It's got lots of fruit, but would outclass a lot of other fruity wines.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#40 Post by Eric S n y d e r » February 5th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Eric S n y d e r wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Depends on the crowd, but Ridge Geyserville is what jumps to the front for me.

If you want something that will stand out as BIG and make everything else seem a little thin, go for a Napa Petite Sirah, maybe a Switchback Ridge.

I love Carlisle Syrah as a complex crowd pleaser. There’s always something “else” that makes it stand out.
Ooh, Alban Patrina would be another suggestion.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#41 Post by J.Vizuete » February 5th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Eric S n y d e r wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 7:35 pm
Eric S n y d e r wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 2:17 pm
Depends on the crowd, but Ridge Geyserville is what jumps to the front for me.

If you want something that will stand out as BIG and make everything else seem a little thin, go for a Napa Petite Sirah, maybe a Switchback Ridge.

I love Carlisle Syrah as a complex crowd pleaser. There’s always something “else” that makes it stand out.
Ooh, Alban Patrina would be another suggestion.
Yep, second that. Tensley makes a good syrah (Colson canyon) at $40 that runs a little big ;)
Last edited by J.Vizuete on February 6th, 2019, 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#42 Post by Patrick T » February 5th, 2019, 9:25 pm

Another vote for Ridge Lytton Springs.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#43 Post by Christian Obermanns » February 6th, 2019, 12:02 am

D&R Antle Vineyard. No one will know what the hell it is.

*But it will be amazing

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#44 Post by Albert R » February 6th, 2019, 3:48 am

Interesting...... You have some really good suggestions and frankly some really questionable ones given the group you describe. Usually something on the bigger and fruiter side wins with a little age but not too much.
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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#45 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » February 6th, 2019, 4:19 am

In my experience with this type of tasting you want something big and fruity but picking a cab will be rolling the dice. 15-16 CdP again is what i’d go with unless you want to do something totally different and pick a Sauternes.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#46 Post by Kevin Porter » February 6th, 2019, 6:40 am

Wouldn’t a Sauternes have to be mighty oxidized to meet the ‘red wine’ requirement?”

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#47 Post by Fred Bower » February 6th, 2019, 7:14 am

If you want the "cheat", go for something sweet. If you can find a Vintage Port, Banyuls, or other fortified red in the price range, it probably gives you the leg up. Otherwise, the suggestions on CdP, Syrah, or user-friendly Cabernet are all good. I'm a pinot guy, but in a blind "any red" lineup, a pinot is going to get lost.

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#48 Post by J3ff S@g@n » February 6th, 2019, 7:31 am

excellent options here guys. . .thank you

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Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#49 Post by Markus S » February 6th, 2019, 7:31 am

Mike Kuller wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 6:47 pm
Be sure to share the results. Your wine and name the others.
Yes...we're waiting...
$ _ € ® e . k @

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A.Altman
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 11:25 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Need to win a $50 max blind tasting red wine

#50 Post by A.Altman » February 6th, 2019, 8:01 am

For more of a cab crowd I would suggest a Bordeaux blend from Washington. The $50 price point is were these really shine as you can get upper tier wines for around $50. This would be a happy medium pleasing both those who lean nerdy and non-nerds. And remain bold enough to stand out in a blind tasting of various red types.

I'd look for any single vineyard from Andrew Will or Cadence or one of the Long Shadow Collaborations (Feather, Pedestal or Pirouette).

For non Bordeaux blend - I totally second the 2016 Donjon. The wines from K Vintners are another good bet.

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