Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s
What They Said:
Per the winery “Many of you remember the old Rabbit Ridge Allure. It was a Rhône style blend made from various grapes we found that particular year that we thought would make interesting wine. It was very good, was a great value, and was like a wine from Cotes du Rhône or Provence.
We have not produced an Allure since 1998. Now however, a dream comes true for Rabbit Ridge with the release of our Allure de Robles. Our vineyards in Paso Robles are in the ideal climate for Rhône varietal wines. Allure de Robles is an estate grown wine that is a Chateau Neuf du Pape style. This wine is primarily a blend of Grenache, Counoise, Syrah and Mourvedre. The clones of the grapes are predominantly from Tablas Creek Winery and Vineyard Nursery, meaning they are cuttings from Chateau Beaucastle in Chateau Neuf du Pape. The wine is from 2003 and 2004 vintages. We made Allure de Robles a non-vintage wine in order to keep it in true Chateau Neuf du Pape style.
Allure de Robles is priced extremely moderately at one-third to one-half of what similar wines are selling for from the Paso Robles region. 1,994 cases produced.”
What I Think:
Again, TJ’s gets accolades for getting the prices they do, however it is that they do it as this wine cost double direct from the winery. I found myself opening this after dinner one evening as I didn’t want to finish the Rosenblum Petite Sirah nor the Navarro Pinot that were the open and available options. First off, this is never the ideal situation for opening a bottle of wine you’ve never had before. You want a known commodity. Something that when you pop the cork you know it is ready to drink. It doesn’t need air or food to be at its best, something like this Nero d’ Avola. Since I had nothing of the sort on hand I pulled the cork and hoped for the best.
This wine is made out of a mixture of grapes from 2003 and 2004 and was the first of this label that they had produced since 1998. Try as I did, I couldn’t find anything specific on why it had not been made over the years or a blend percentage by year. The wine is primarily a blend GSM (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre). GSM’s can have quite a different look and feel based on which grape is dominant. I would never think of the Australian version as elegant or the French as a bold offering. Since no blend percentage was readily available and the name implied a leaning towards Europe my expectations were set accordingly.
Even as I was opening this bottle I was thinking that it looked very light in color. I had a misconception that lighter color always meant lower alcohol content. This was quickly erased when I saw this one measured in at nearly 15%. I guess darker only means stronger when it comes to beer… Initially, I was getting more floral notes on the nose than fruit. With some time it seemed to get a bit fruiter and familiar on the nose. When I say familiar over the two days I was drinking this wine there was something nagging my mind that I should know based on what I was drinking, alas it has yet to come to me. On the palate there were loads of light, forward fruits with raspberries being the most prevalent. This held quite well through the mid-palate before giving way to a slightly peppering, simple finish. This was certainly a pleasant effort. With the loads of raspberries and hints of strawberries I came around to thinking of it as a poor man’s, fruit-driven Pinot Noir. This realization really came to the fore when I paired a glass with some turkey tacos which easily overpowered this wine. To recap, everything about this wine is light; perhaps almost even a bit rosy (is that what was nagging me). If this appeals to you I recommend giving this one a go. Given that it is light and refreshing It could be perfect pre-meal wine for a summer barbeque. I wonder if it would work chilled?
Rating: 12th Bottle