Washington Red Blend…”Cat Got My Tongue”?


This Winery AGAIN??

Annette Bergevin

I know it seems odd that I just reviewed a Merlot from Bergevin Lane and showed another picture of Annette Bergevin. Trust me, we are not in collaboration. I love Annette and the Winery but Annette will be the first to tell you that if I don’t like a vintage of their wines, or any one of their varietals I will post it on here or even write her personally to tell her. She like many other winery owners appreciate that. They know when I give a positive review, I am not blowing smoke I am giving an honest evaluation and opinion on the wine.

No one does blends like Washington State IMHO

Calico Front Label 1

Calico Rear Label

It has been literally years since I tasted the $15.99 Calico Red Blend. In fact, the winery just released the 2014 vintage and I was still staring at 5 bottles of the 2013. That means it has been literally a year since many of my customers have tasted this wine as well. There are so many so called Red Blends out there and especially from California, I can’t tell the difference between one producer to the next. They all just taste like Syrup. To be perfectly honest I already was convincing myself that I would be disappointed with this one too. Time for another repeat picture that really earned a gold star from me for this effort!

Winemaker Dave Harvey Again!! 

Dave Harvey

There he is again. The man with over 20 years experience in Washington Winemaking. He certainly didn’t hold back on the Calico Red Blend. The 2013 is made up of a mixture of 38% Syrah (YAY Syrah Dominant Blend) 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot (YAY AGAIN) 7% Malbec and 2% Carmenere. The sourcing of the grapes are from some of the best fruit producing vineyards in the area. Bergevin Springs, Les Collines, Francisca’s Vineyard (42% in Walla Walla); Stone Tree Vineyards (56 % Wahluke Slope); Pontin Del Rose (2% Yakima Valley) For a $15.99 this is not a factory wine but an artisan everyday wine at everyday prices. 

The Wine Review

Calico Bottle and Glass

Calico Glass Alone

Some wines I call a 2 day wine and some a 1 day wine. This is a 2 day wine. I didn’t really get the full nuances of the wine till day 2. The wine is black  and Inky from the Syrah with purple tinge from from the Petit Verdot. Usually in a Red Blend with all these grapes it just all blends together and you can’t tell what the heck you are drinking. Not so with the 2012 Calico Red. The roasted meats and black asphalt on the nose from the Syrah was secondary to the New World Fruit Nose of Black Cherry, Raspberry, Plum from the Cabernet and the Merlot and flower shop nuances classic of Petit Verdot. 20 Months in neutral French And American Oak Barrels not to mask any flaws but to bring out a chocolate, vanilla bean nose. No Syrupy Burnt Sugar smells at all as with so many Red Blends from California in this price range. On the palate a medium frame, hosted more black currant and black cherry, plum skins, less of the raspberry I smelled on the nose and then a very dark dark Chocolate and vanilla bean finish with chewy but ripe tannins and some black pepper spice. 

Food Pairing 

Annette suggests some Stuffed Figs with Blue Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto or Black Peppercorn Steak. She forgets about us lonely divorced guys. I had the Blue Cheese but missing the Prosciutto , missing the Figs, missing the Steak, missing The Peppercorns. 1 out of 5 isn’t bad right?? I did have some All White Meat Turkey Burgers and some Crimini Mushrooms and Yellow Onions. I broiled up the Turkey Burgers, Sauteed down the Mushrooms with Garlic and Olive Oil and Carmelized the Onions till chocolate brown. I topped off my burger with the Onions and Mushrooms and Then A Thin Slice of Strong Blue Cheese on Top under the broiler till melted. I get scared when I hear Blue Cheese with Red Wine. Most wines it doesn’t work because of the Mold in the Cheese. It may not have been Peppercorn Steak but I must say this Calico Red mingled so well with every flavor of the Burger Concoction I built, I might say it was one of the best food and wine pairings I ever had. 

The Summary

Many people like me are looking for an everyday wine that they can enjoy by itself, with a meal or with maybe a piece of cheese or dark chocolate. I will score this wine 88 out of 100. I just can’t see anyone with that purpose in mind (this isn’t Petrus or Brunello) at a $15.99 not getting their money’s worth here. I can see any friend or guest purchasing this recommendation from me would be happy and speechless! Maybe, the Calico Cat got their Tongue???

Grape-fully yours, Larry 

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