Maker: Joe Blow Wine Cellars (Delicato Vineyards), King City, Pine Canyon & Manteca, California
Varietal: Blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Joe Blow Red is a non-vintage blend of five different grapes: Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has an informal label that implies a casual, fun wine. And, that’s pretty much what one finds in the bottle. The nose has clove and licorice notes, with a slight hint of flowers. On the palate, this blend opens a bit weak with cherry and plum notes, but finishes strong and long with oak, black pepper. In between, there’s a little chocolate.
We couldn’t learn much about the wine from the Joe Blow website, although there is an amusing story that says the concept of the blend started when winemakers inadvertently pumped Napa Valley Merlot into a tank of Monterey Syrah. A few bloggers have commented… WanderingAmylessly planned to serve it on Election night in a sort of homage to Joe the Plumber. The Wine Guy termed it an “awesome low acid and fruity wine,” awarding Joe Blow Red six and a half stars out of ten. Chuck Newton thought it had “way too much in the way of tannins.” Bruce Campbell of the Wenatchee Valley Enological Society likes Joe Blow’s marketing and gives it and similar labels credit for bringing new wine drinkers into the market. Just A Grape scores it a four our of five. The Whinery kind of liked it, but suggests it might be a good base for making sangria.