Thursday, November 20, 2014

Weekly Wine Review - Washington State Red Blend - 2007 Brian Carter Cellars Byzance

My fun and mostly rewarding experimenting in the world of red blends continues with a blend of Rhone Varietals from Columbia Valley in Washington State. This particular wine caught my eye because of the Counoise grape included in the blend. Although only a tiny 2% of the blend, it is one of the grapes allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine, and is used to add a peppery character and acidity to a wine blend.
Wine: 2007 Brian Carter Cellars Byzance
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Grape Varieties: Grenache (51%), Syrah (25%), Mourvedre (20%), Counoise (2%) and Cinsault (2%)

Obtained from: Purchased at Total Wine & More
Price: $33
Wino4Life Category: Weekend Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Natural cork - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, dark red with a pink rim.
Aroma: Plum, herbs, flowers.
Taste: Nicely balanced with a very nice finish.

The Grade: I give this one an A. A very nice blend, great for a weekend sipper, and balanced enough to pair nicely with a meal.  I am really enjoying seeking out great blends like this one. I didn't really get any of the pepper notes of the Counoise, but the nicely balanced wine may have benefited from the acidity that this grape provides. 

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