Red Blends $20 to $55

GDP's top list of blended red wines


2008 Terlato Vineyards Cardinal's Peak Napa Valley 14.2% $50

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot

The nose here offers up an interesting blend of sweetness and earthiness with red currant fruit framed with notes of dried herbs, toasty oak, leather and earth. A little lighter bodied on entry than expected with a taut character driven by rather formidable, dry and yet not imposing tannins. The fruit here is fresh and elegant, with mulberry and plum edges. Acidity is well judged and the oak adds nice toasty spice and faint caramel complexity to the palate before receding a bit on the moderately long and lightly peppery finish. An understated wine and the kind of wine that won't make you stand up and take notice, but will be happily drained during the course of a meal. Refined and subtle. 91pts

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2008 Terlato Devil's Peak Napa Valley 14.2% $45

50% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Rather herbal and red fruited on the nose with an underlay of pomegranate and lovely nuanced red plum aromas. With hints of charcoal and grilled meats on entry, this feels at first like it's going to be quite powerful but those aromas quickly give way to a medium-bodied, red fruited wine full of well-managed tannins supporting plum and red berry fruit. There's a lovely innate sweetness here with some espresso foam framing hints and a little herb spice and even a hint of truffle on the back end along with some shaved chocolate notes. The finish is fairly fruit driven, plummy and juicy with black currant notes and a hint of heat and wood spice on the finale.  Complex and well-balanced. 91pts

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2010 Antiyal Red Wine Maipo Valley, Chile 14.5% $26

Spicy on the nose with herb, grass, balsam, and passionfruit note all embedded in gently oaky dark fruits. Bright and almost tart on entry with blackberry and black currant flavors paired with some soft tobacco notes, toasted nut notes and a bed of slightly earthy, compost notes that are actually quite attractive. A bit lean and elegant, bitter chocolate notes pop on the finish which shows a touch of aggressive wood tannin and a hint of lingering sweetness. A pretty fruity wine but one that remains relatively bright and light on its feet. 90pts

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2009 Girard Red Wine Artistry Napa Valley 15% $35

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 8% Malbec

Smoky with notes of hickory nuts, leather, shoe polish and intense black fruits on the nose. This is an impressive wine, polished and focused yet at the same time it's somewhat massive and a bit of a black hole in the mouth. The wood tannins fits like a glove over the generous black and slightly blue tinged fruits, but obscures some of the detail here. The overall impression is one of black smoothness with some minty and toasty details emerging on the back end and gaining ground on the moderately long, slightly medicinal finish. I shouldn’t like this as much as I do but like a black hole, it draws you in. 90pts

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2008 Franciscan Estate Magnificat Meritage Red Wine Napa Valley 14.5% $45

69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec

Fruity on the nose with a nice underlay of toasty oak spice and vanilla and top notes of braised herbs, licorice and violets.  This is smooth and supple in the mouth with an initial rush of smoky, toasty and scorched earth inner-mouth perfumes. Perhaps a bit on the tight side, this shows a fairly heavy if balanced load of load tannins in the mouth along with dark pencil lead and toast flavors over some grape, with red currants and fresh purple and blue fruits. The finish is cut short by the tannins. This has some of the hardness and underlying unyielding nature of old school winemaking. I bet this gets better with 2-5 years in the cellar. Needs an aggressive steak for dinner tonight. 90pts

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2007 d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 14.5% $26

48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 21% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc

Big black currant fruit on the nose is framed with pencil lead and a touch of truffle topped with a touch of perfumed French oak. Smooth and bright on entry, this starts off on the lighter weight side with some dusty tannins and soft plummy fruit that gains focus and black currant and strawberry notes on the mid-palate before turning into a pleasant sour cherry and lightly toasted oak bomb on the finish. The slightly elevated acidity keeps this fresh and lively and makes it seem less imposing than it may be, and easy to drink. Maybe a bit simple but so succulent and mouthwatering, this would be great with a fatty rack of lamb. 89pts

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2008 Roxy Ann Claret Rogue Valley Or 14.6% $26

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec

A bit hard and black fruited on the nose with licorice, toast, and slight chemical floral accents. Rather smooth with supple tannins on entry, this is not a small scaled wine but it comes off as rather elegant with an open feel and subtle flavors. Nothing jarring here, just a nice core of red fruit with hints of raspberries and a touch of red plum that's framed by some earthy elements, a nice sheen of oak, and lovely sweet herbal components on the back end. This is easy to drink with good acidity driving the finish, which could be a bit longer and does show a bit of heat. Elegant and subtly complex, this might improve over the next 2-4 years but all it needs to be enjoyed today is a nice steak. 89pts

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2010 Chappellet Cervantes Mountain Cuvee 14.9% $30

50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec

The nose delivers an early blast of crushed fresh herbs, black currant fruit and very well-judged oak. Well-balanced and nearly seamless in the mouth with a slightly polished feel. The tannins are here but the almost gauzy blanket of black berry and plum fruit manages to conceal them right through until the finish. Even on the finish there is a sweetness to these tannins, an attractive gentleness that keeps them from detracting from the light, gently herbal and earthy core of lingering black fruit. Fairly large scaled yet elegant, this has the balance to age well beyond it's price point but is attractive today for it's fine, understated style. 89pts

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Red Blends $20-$55

Penley Estate Red Bordeaux Blend Coonawarra Chertsey (2008)
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St. Supéry Vineyards Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Élu Meritage (2008)
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Urraca Familia Langley Reserva (2005)
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Terra Blanca Onyx (2008)
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Trione Vineyards Alexander Valley Bordeaux Blend (2008)
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Gérard Bertrand Vin de Pays d'Oc Cigalus (2010)
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Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval (2009)
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Buty Columbia Valley Red Blend (2010)
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Ferrari-Carano Winery Tresor Sonoma County (2008)
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J. Lohr Cuvée St. E (2008)
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Neyen Espiritu de Alpalta Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenere. Petit Verdot Colchagua (2006)
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Raymond Burr Quartet Tinto da Nossa Quinta Dry Creek Valley (2009)
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Trinchero Meritage (2009)
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Jacques & Francois Lurton Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Colchagua Valley (2008)
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Cosentino Winery Red Blend Napa Valley (2006)
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Rodney Strong Red Bordeaux Blend Alexander Valley Symmetry (2008)
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Quickfire Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)
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Terlato Vineyards Devil's Peak (2008)
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Antiyal Alto Maipo (2010)
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Girard Artistry Girard Artistry (2009)
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D'Arenberg the Galvo Garage Cabernet/Merlot/Pv/Cabernet Franc (2007)
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Roxy Ann Winery Claret (2008)
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Chappellet Cervantes Mtn Cuv10 (2010)
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Sherwood House Sherwood Manor (2007)
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Terlato Vineyards Angels' Peak (2008)
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Cypress Vineyards Shiraz Santa Clara Valley (2008)
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Paraduxx Napa Valley (2009)
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Artiste Eyes Wide Shut Bottled In (NV)
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Bouchard Finlayson Red Blend Walker Bay Hannibal (2009)
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Decoy Merlot Sonoma County (2010)
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Brian Carter Cellars Tempranillo Blend Columbia Valley Corrida (2008)
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Treana Cabernet-Syrah Blend Paso Robles Red (2009)
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Yorkville Cellars Red Blend Yorkville Highlands Richard the Lion-Heart Rennie Vineyard (2009)
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Viña Maquis Syrah Blend Colchagua Valley Lien (2008)
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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Rynobear
    947324 47

    I am a huge Justin fan. where does Isosceles stack up in this list of these great blends?

    Jan 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

  • Snooth User: shirazzee
    1135101 21

    No Canadian worthy splurges?

    Jan 10, 2013 at 8:09 PM

  • Snooth User: info171
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    194522 32

    Lapsus lingue. On several subtitles "Cabernet Franc" stays instead of "Cabernet Sauvignon", or something else.

    Jan 11, 2013 at 1:15 AM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,085

    Trinchero Vineyards are most interesting to me and I am looking forward to trying the 2009 Meritage. There wines seem to have an "Old School" style which I like.

    Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

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