Saturday, February 14, 2015

Taken Napa Red Blend

Taken Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine Blend 2012

Visiting New York this week, I found this high QPR Big Napa Red in several wine merchants. Taken is a joint venture between  Josh Phelps and Carlo Trinchero, two well known family names in the world of wine, next generation producers from at least one winemaking family known for Swanson Vineyards and Trinchero Family Estates, which is one of the largest wine producers in the US. (Its not certain that Josh is related to that Phelps).

Josh and Carlo grew up together in the wine centered town of St. Helena, in the heart of Napa Valley.  With a tagline, "great wine made by great friends", the mission of Taken Wine is to produce wines they and their friends and other young people from the millenial generation would enjoy. This release of Taken certainly hits the mark, and appeals to wine geeks from the boomer generation too!

I picked up a bottle for dinner at Warehouse Wine & Liquor in Danbury, Ct. I then picked up another at Buy Rite in Jersey City who have both the 2011 and the 2012 vintages in stock at under $30. 

Taken Wine Company was launched in 2009 and their first release was Taken Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010.  They subsequently released two other branding labels, Complicated which has a Pinot Noir, a Chardonnay and a Red Blend, and Available.

As they write on their website, their branding reflects the steps they have "taken" on their journey, a whimsical, fun-spirited, wordplay venture that whether taken, complicated, or available, provide their handicraft of wines. Their wines are available as part of the portfolio of the large established Trinchero Family Estates.

The aim is that the Taken names, Taken, Complicated, and Available, all tie into social media and are relevant to their generation.

This 2012 Red Blend reflects the much heralded vintage in Napa Valley, which benefited from an ideal growing season - rainfall in the spring, optimal temperatures in the early summer with warm days followed by cool nights, through to an early October harvest. Yields were high and the fruit was high quality. It was a great year to be in the wine business, and to be a consumer, since high quality wines should be in abundance that should result in some great value high QPR - Quality to Price Ratio wines. Taken Red Blend emerges as such a find! It is a blend of 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot of Napa Valley fruit, aged in French Oak Barrels.

Dark inky purple colored, medium to full bodied, intense concentrated forward ripe blackberry and blueberry fruits accented by layers of dark chocolate, anise and expresso with tones of graphite, earthy notes, and hints of vanilla and sweet spicy French oak. Only a bit of heat from the 14.5% alcohol and the graphite tone detract from the balance and polish of this wine.

RM 92 points.