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Wine of the Week: Darkhorse Big Red Blend 01A

Wine: Darkhorse Big Red Blend 01A

Grapes: Merlot, malbec, tempranillo and syrah

Region: California, Australia and Argentina

Vintage: 2012

Price: $6.99

Availability: Trader Joe’s, Lee’s Discount Liquor

In the glass: Darkhorse wine is a deeply opaque purplish red with an inky core going out into a deep violet-red rim definition with ultrahigh viscosity.

On the nose: There is an intense concentration of black fruit with blueberries, wild black cherries, boysenberry juice, loganberries, cassis, cranberry concentrate, soft fleshy licorice character and subtle earth-driven minerals.

On the palate: This wine is massively extracted black cherries, boysenberries, blueberry pie, huckleberry sauce and melted black licorice with hints of oak references, violet pastilles, black currant juice and black plum pulp. The midpalate is suave and smooth, with fine, unobtrusive tannins going into a long lingering finish with more blackberries and aniseed. This is a really good drinking wine that despite its relative youth comes out of the bottle ready to drink. It’s great if you’re into muscular, rich red wines.

Odds and ends: Technically, we should drink only American wines for the big Fourth of July weekend. Someone could, however, make a strong case for French wines, too, because the French did help in a major way against the British so America could finally become independent.

The wine I have picked for you to help in your celebrations is a “dark horse.” Mysteriously conceived from grapes sourced in California, Australia and Argentina, it has been masterfully blended to mask its very reasonable price point of less than $7.

I don’t mean to advocate drinking inexpensive wines for the Fourth of July, but this one has so much going for it and can easily compete with wines that are three to four times more expensive, so why not? Drink it with a big, juicy piece of red meat, preferably charcoal grilled. Try it now through 2018.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at gil@winevegas.com.

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