Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Swanson Vineyards and secure an allocation of their Modern House Wines, “101 Points”, a budget-minded wine from their new sister label.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Modern House Wines, vinted by Swanson Vineyards
Wine Subject: “101 Points” 2009 California Proprietary Red Wine
Winemaker: Chris Phelps
Backgrounder: Swanson Vineyards is located in Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA. The Oakville AVA, centrally located and adjacent to Napa Valley’s famous Rutherford AVA, was established in July 1993. Oakville is considered on of the most diverse AVA’s in the Napa area and grows some of the best Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in California.
Look – Dark magenta hues, with a darker core of deep ruby. Coloration is evenly concentrated, right out to the very edge of the wine. Swirl the wine and witness a the steady march of thin, wine-stained tears.
Smell – Ripe blackberry, black cherry, blueberry jam, raspberry and bramble combine with sweet spice, hard leather, tobacco leaf, toasty vanilla oak, wild fennel, black pepper and a hint of cured meats.
Feel – Medium-bodied at the outset, the wine then surprises the drinker by gliding swiftly and smoothly across the mid-palate. Once past, plush tannins introduce a softly grippy feeling that ushers in a mineral laden, slowly spreading dryness. After a few moments, the wine takes on an intriguing chewy feel.
Taste – Dark, ripe and concentrated, with ripe blackberry, dark plum skin, black cherry and tobacco leaf. As the wine opens up, dried cherry, dark chocolate, blueberry jam, cracked leather, black pepper, subtle dried orange peel, subtle clove and dark flinty minerals follow on.
Finish – Very long, lead by rich dark fruit that slowly yields to rich, earthy flavors. As flavors fade, a chewy feel persists, coating the mouth with delicious pepper, spice, leather and minerals.
Conclusion – Fans of Swanson Vineyards rejoice!! Today’s wine, from Swanson’s sister label, Modern House Wines is a delectable, approachable and surprisingly complex treat – at a budget-minded price. This wine drinks beautifully, right out of the bottle, but spin it for just a few minutes and it really comes to life. Delicious, extracted and wonderfully balanced this wine is a very easy choice, dear Operative. A perfect daily drinker , you’ll want to stock up on this wine. Pair this food-friendly wine as you would a Cabernet or a Syrah. That is to say, pair it with something bold and flavorful, like a juicy grilled burger or a thick grilled Porterhouse steak. Quantities are limited so act quickly. We recommend stocking up on this fun, fantastic, wonderful wine.