Some of the best values that you’ll find in wine come in the form of inexpensive red blends. And it seems like more and more people are catching on to that fact, as red blends are more popular now than ever before.
And who can blame them? While purists still tend to turn their noses up at blends, all they really are is combinations of different grape varieties. In the hands of a good winemaker, this allows them to take the best of each variety and combine them into something greater than than the sum of its parts.
So in that spirit, let’s get experimental and count down our picks for the best red wine blends available today.
2015 Primus The Blend Apalta
This Chilean blend changes with each year. For the 2015 vintage, it combines 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 24% Carménère, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc.
The result is a wine with incredible depth and chocolatey notes. It has an edge that hints at its disparate elements, with sweeter elements like honeysuckle and dried flowers being tempered by earthy tones.
Every sip seems to bring something new, to the point where even an entire bottle can leave you feeling like this wine still has more to offer. And at $16 a bottle, it’s an excellent value.
2017 Esporao Colheita Tinto
When we buy wine, we rarely ever do it just because the bottle is appealing. More and more, winemakers try to market their wine with a story. Nimbletoad has an excellent article on selling wine with storytelling.
I bring the story of their wines seems important to Esporao. They proudly speak of how their grapes are grown on an organically certified estate in Alentejo, Portugal, which has remained within its same boundaries since the 13th century.
They boast of the painstaking standards they set to produce the finest wines possible. And I believe every word because this wine is the proof.
With an aroma that is equal parts fruity and spicy and a pleasingly tart flavor, this wine is an excellent and economical organic option.
Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso
Here’s an excellent choice if you want a red blend that is more than just the usual Cabernet-based combinations.
This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot grapes. The Sagrantino grape is unfortunately quite rare in the United States, with most of what’s available being pricey single-variety offerings. So this red blend gives you an accessible means to sample an uncommon delight.
It tastes like a rustic Italian wine, but the flavor is soft enough to be enjoyed on its own or paired appropriately with classic Italian cuisine.
Domaine Houchart Cotes de Provence Rouge
This red blend hails from Provence, the home of rosé. But don’t let that fool you, as the region produces some excellent reds as well.
This blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cinsault has a pleasant blackberry flavor with a bit of spice. And its moderate acidity and good tannins give is a long, dry finish.
The Best Red Wine Doesn’t Have to Be the Priciest Red Wine
Though the more traditional Cabernet Sauvignon is still the best selling varietal, more and more people are coming around to the idea of red blends. Part of that is no doubt that they tend to be more inexpensive, but many are finding that they can have wonderfully complex flavors of their own.
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