Wine: Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red 2009.
Grape: Cabernet sauvignon (45 percent), syrah (40 percent), merlot (6 percent), others
Region: Paso Robles, Calif.
Price: $9.99 per bottle.
In the glass: This wine lives up to its name and displays a broad palette of purple hues in the glass, with a very opaque core going out into a violet-red rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose: This wine jumps out of the glass like a bucking bronco with predominant crushed black cherries, blackberry sorbet, black licorice Twizzlers, spice, sweet boysenberry jam and fruit-driven minerals.
On the palate: It hits the palate like a crazed rodeo bull and delivers a one-two punch of primary blackberry fruit medley and chocolate-coated licorice; then the underlying sweet marionberries come out and there’s layers of yummy jammy Bing cherry fruit, black plums and wonderful delineation. The mid-palate is redolent with star anise, allspice character, touches of wood, hints of blueberry pie and toast. It has great structure and supple tannins, despite its youth, thus lingering for a good 20-plus seconds with a nice kick at the end.
Odds and ends: Terry Wheatley, who owns Purple Cowboy, has both a husband and son who are professional rodeo cowboys. Although that accounts for the name of the wine, she has a much bigger purpose with this venture rooted in her quest to find a cure for breast cancer. She donates a portion of any bottle of Purple Cowboy sold to the cause. In addition, the wine is now the official wine of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. This is a really solid effort in winemaking and it stays below the all-important psychological test barrier of $10 per bottle. A juicy and delicious wine that, despite its relative youth, is ready to drink now through 2014.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.