Received some new-to-me Napa red wines for review, and the accompanying news release below. This “vice” wine sounded fun, as did sampling the trio of reds that go into their blend. Though these were unsolicited samples, aka free for review, I would buy any of these wines. My favorites were The Tri Blend and the Cabernet Franc, the St. Laurent was super interesting chilled, and the Malbec was pretty good too. (Note: I reviewed these over several days, therefore I did not try blending these on my own as suggested in the news release.)
2019 Saint Laurent, Single Vineyard
Unfamiliar with the St. Laurent grape I grabbed this from their website, “Meet ‘Majorelle,’ a highly chillable red wine made from rare, aromatic St. Laurent grapes. Delicate and intense, savory and smooth, it’s the ideal in-between bottle for late-summer afternoons and chilly fall evenings…” So, I took their recommendation and chilled the wine a bit before decanting for 30 minutes, and the wine was quite nice to have before dinner. Beautiful red cellophane color. A nose filled with cherry cola, blackberry, blueberry, plum, some red fruit, sweet pipe smoke, dusty. Tasted that same cherry cola as well as the red, blue and black fruits, well balanced with some slight tannins.
2018 Cabernet Franc, Oak Knoll District, single vineyard.
Cabernet Franc has been one of my favorite Bordeaux varietals for the past few years, so I chose this wine to open next. Greeted by lingering aromas of fresh black cherries, spicy plums, dark chocolate, cracked black pepper, toasted oak and cream just after opening. The dark fruit and spicy flavors on the nose transferred to the palate and were very appealing to me. I wanted the finish to go a little longer, but the spice tickled my tongue for a while as the tannins did their job gripping my tongue as well. Noticed the alcohol was 14.4 which accounted for some heat on the palate but no burn on the nose.
2019 Malbec, Oak Knoll District, Single Vineyard
We decanted this one as it was so young and I believe that, also with some additional swirling and time in our glass, it benefited the wine. Black cherry, cherry liqueur, dark and pungent, tri-color peppercorns, red earth and a wet forest floor all on the nose. Tasting the wine I noted that the spice danced on the palate, it was dry and dark but balanced, and was super yummy with our dinner of sous vide steak. 14.3 % alcohol.
2019 “The Tri Blend” Red Wine, Napa Valley
According to the informational postcard that came with the samples I followed their instructions and decanted for 30 minutes prior to serving. A very dark purple and opaque color, with notes of milk chocolate covered cherries, blackberry, crushed leaves, brambles, toasted nuts and pencil shavings on the nose. On the mouth there were hints of blue and black fruit together with peppery spices, mushrooms, tobacco and drying tannins that leaned into a long finish. Very pleasant.
Excerpts From News Release
The Vice Reveals the “The Tri” Tasting Kit
Deconstruct “The Tri” 2019 and Create Your Own Blend with The Vice’s Single-Varietal Napa Valley St. Laurent, Malbec and Cabernet Franc
The Vice Napa Valley Wines has revealed “The Tri” Tasting Kit, a unique tasting experience featuring “The Tri” 2019 and the single-varietal signature wines that are blended to create it: St. Laurent, “Majorelle” 2019; Malbec, Oak Knoll 2019 and Cabernet Franc, 2019.
A rare, complex blend, “The Tri”, named and inspired by founder/winemaker Malek Amrani’s passion for both wine and triathlon – is so much more than the sum of its parts. At once juicy and peppery, it’s an unlikely combination that simply just works, not unlike Amrani’s two greatest passions. In fact, the quantity of each grape in the blend – 18% Cabernet Franc, 52% St. Laurent and 30% Malbec – represents the 2016 Rio Olympics of swimming, running, and cycling time percentages of Olympic triathlete Joe Maloy. “The Tri” brings these stunning single-varietal Napa Valley wines together to create something completely different and uniquely stunning.
In partnership with the USA Triathlon Foundation, each purchase of “The Tri” Tasting Kit includes complimentary access to a series of live virtual tastings with Malek Amrani and Joe Maloy to provide a unique opportunity to deconstruct the blend, discover the process and experiment with blending yourself.
“The Tri” Tasting Kit – Napa Valley ($179.00/ 4 x 750ml bottles & tasting experience):
Tri Blend, 2019
St. Laurent, “Majorelle”, 2019
2019 Malbec, Oak Knoll District, 2019
Cabernet Franc, Los Carneros, 2019
Experience “The Tri” Tasting Kit with Malek Amrani and Joe Maloy during the event or save it for the perfect gift, tasting party or as your own foray into wine blending. A portion of proceeds are being donated to benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation.
Proceeds from each tasting kit will benefit the USA Triathlon Foundation, whose mission is to make the sport accessible to people of all backgrounds and abilities, so the pleasure of enjoying a glass of wine will contribute to someone’s healthy lifestyle, participation in sports, or even Olympic dreams.
About The Vice
The Vice is a Napa Valley luxury wine brand made in small batches. Each batch is crafted from single grape varietals sourced from hand selected vineyards that best express the grape varietal and the region that it comes from. The Vice is a result of passionate labor, sustainable farming, a long expertise of the wine industry and a current understanding of the consumer’s wine trend. The Vice is about as personal of a brand as it gets. Everything is done by the founders. We drive the truck to get our fruit, we crush, bottle, label; we do everything by hand when possible. We design the labels, work the market, and sell the wine. We believe that the best wines in the world aren’t the most expensive ones. We thrive at providing the best quality wine at the best value. For more information visit thevice.com and follow on @thevicewine.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.