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  • Writer's pictureLushmuddled

Red Fox Cellars 'Blend 44' American Red Wine

USD$20 (roughly AUD$25)

Palisade, CO, USA

Desert wine. Excellent. Don't ask me why, but wine made in the desert just appeals to me. Same with volcano wine. It's hardcore. Also there aren't enough foxes on wine labels.

I picked this up when I was in the USA in 2019. I had never heard of the Palisade wine region, which is in western Colorado. I also didn't know that wine was made in Colorado. But there you go. It really bothers me that there is no vintage listed on the bottle, but I would guess that it is a 2018, or a non-vintage blend. I'm hoping for the former because it would fit the devil-may-care, rock'n'roll vibes I got from the cellar door.. There website lists two different '44 Red Blends,' one a Tempranillo blend and the other is a Cab/Shiraz blend. Judging by my tasting notes, I'd say this is the latter (this is why stating vintage would be useful, FYI). So, on the fairly safe assumption that this is the Cab/Shiraz, the make up is 44% Syrah, 44% Shiraz, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot.

Bit of a weird one. A lot of the American wines I've had work on a different palate structure to what I'm used to, and easily fall into the overripe, jammy side of things. This isn't the case here. A deep, dark and dense purple colour, with cherry edges, making it really pretty to swirl, really. The nose is quite closed at first, but slowly opens up with mulberries, cassis and plum on the fruit side of things, with some dried twigs and leaves. A little bit of chocolate comes through. So does some alcoholic heat as well, which is a bit surprising as the wine is only 14.1%abv. The flavour is pretty simple, but there is a lot of it - blackcurrant, plum, black pepper and some instant coffee. Definitely some tannins here too, which start quite soft and grainy but firm up to give some decent length - it is a shame they don't carry a lot of flavour with them. It started out thinking 'it's alright,' then moved to 'it's pretty good actually' the more I drank. It likely won't win any awards, but I can see this being a great crowd pleaser, especially at a bbq. Sadly, it's not available in Australia. You'll have to fly over to Colorado.

Rating: ★★★

Have it with? American style bbq. Charred ribs, seared eggplant, corn bread...

Classic, weird or funky? The label looks cool and hip, but this is classically made and styled.

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