54% Zinfandel from Lodi and Amador County, 22% Petite Sirah from Dry Creek Valley, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, 6% Barbera and 2% Merlot from California. The wine spends 14 months in small French, Hungarian and American oak barrels.
The Cryptic Red has an SRP of $15 and is available for as low as $11. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
With Wine And Desire Anything Is Possible
Dark...Mysterious...Deep Black Cherry...Intense Red Raspberry...Velvety...Alluring...
Decode the secrets in our signature blend.
Inexpensive red blends are one of the hottest categories in wine, but we're always wary when trying a new one. So many of them come from mass produced grapes (from different areas every year) and are so manipulated and full of additives that they just come off tasting manufactured. They also tend to be loaded up with residual sugar.
The 2012 Cryptic Red begins with a very pleasant aroma chock full of dark berry, vanilla, plum, a little caramel and licorice and a healthy splash of mint. Tasting the wine reveals it to be a bit sweet, although it is balanced out nicely through the use of oak (barrels, not chips or dust). And while we were a little concerned that it is sourced from 25+ vineyards, they are all in distinct areas known for each variety. Smooth with lots of dark berry fruit and sweet oak influence this is quite tasty stuff with wide appeal and lots of crowd-pleasing properties. It ends with vanilla, chocolate, touches of coffee and more sweet dark berry fruit highlighting the long finish. We were really pleasantly surprised by this wine which is a definite step up from your average California red blend!
See a listing of local retailers selling the Cryptic Red here.