Wine: Wolfgang Puck Red Blend Master Lot Reserve
Grapes: Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, syrah, petite sirah
Availability: All wine retailers and supermarkets
In the glass: Wolfgang Puck Red Blend is a deep burly sort of crimson to inky-blackish red with a completely opaque center going out into a deeply painted blood-ruby rim definition and high viscosity.
On the nose: The wine immediately reveals layers of ripe, opulent black fruit with dominance by black currants and boysenberries, then eucalyptus, oak, creme de cassis, creme brulee, vanilla, cherry jam, licorice and blackberry sorbet. It is simply a fabulous and fairly complex nose for a California blended wine with tons of class coming out of the bowl, belying the price tag of the wine.
On the palate: The wine is a veritable smorgasbord of flavors highlighted by black currants, minerals, boysenberry crush, earthy almost chewy notes of blackberries, a firmly structured set of tannins and solid backbone for decent aging. The midpalate is powerful with black fruit and good structure, going into the long and tasty finish that is laden with forest berries, fern and elder fruit.
Odds and ends: I became aware of this Wolfgang Puck series of wine when Larry Ruvo, founder and chairman of the Keep Memory Alive Foundation that supports the work done by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, told me he and Puck got together to create this wine to support the cause. Both men have lost a parent to Alzheimer’s disease and they’re both determined to do something about it. A portion of the cost of each reasonably priced bottle goes directly to Keep Memory Alive. Ruvo said he hopes to sell 100,000 cases of this wine. The wine itself is actually quite delicious and highly drinkable. Made by Delicato Wines in California, the vintners expertly blend together tasty grape varieties and the result is highly recommended. Try it with bacon-wrapped meatloaf as recommended by Puck himself and drink it now through 2015.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.