Beringer Bros. 2016 California Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend ($20 winery price.)
Bourbon isn’t obvious in the initial aroma of this bourbon-barrel aged wine, which offers black plums and blackberries, but there’s a pleasant sweet caramel note in the background that may come from a bourbon barrel but isn’t far from the scent of a traditional oak wine barrel. Sweet black fruit fills the palate, too, pleasant and sippable. Soft acidity is sufficient to provide structure, and a hint of tannins tickle at the edges of the palate. A hearty 14.5% alcohol, it’s a soft, smooth, slightly sweet wine, a crowd-pleaser. While it may not be a style that wine geeks with Euro-tuned palates favor, I can’t deny that it’s a good sipper, perhaps as well suited for drinking alone as with food. It’s a blend of 41% Petite Sirah, 21% Syrah, 18% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 2% undisclosed other grapes. (March 28, 2019)
FOOD MATCH: As noted, it’s fine for sipping on its own, but even with its sweet edge, it should serve well with grilled beef, lamb, or game, or with rich cheese dishes.
WHEN TO DRINK: With its soft, smooth style, I’ll wait for a track record to talk about aging potential. For now, I’d suggest drinking it soon until we see where it goes with bottle time.
The winery price is $20, but it’s widely discounted. Wine-Searcher.com reports a $16 average U.S. retail price.
This winery fact sheet offers basic information on Beringer Bros. 2016 California Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend, and also offers it for sale at $20 per bottle.
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