Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Shebang Tenth Cuvee

My daughter at dinner recently said “Dad, you take wine too seriously!” She was annoyed because I made her move as I took a picture of this week’s featured wine, Shebang Tenth Cuvee, a California red blend from Sonoma’s Bedrock Winery.

My wife and I found this one totally at random on our weekly trip to the corner wine store. Shebang gets a 90 point rating from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which is outstanding, and it was recommended as comparable in flavor to several other blends we liked, so we rolled the dice.

Let me just say that we have gotten pretty lucky with recommendations lately.

What I liked about this wine was that it wasn’t overly ripe. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy big ripe Napa Cabs, but too often with blends you get all the sweet without any texture or balance. This blend (55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics) starts with just enough fruit to grab you, but ends with spicy notes of white pepper and sour cherry. This was dense and much more complex than I expected. I love when that happens.

The recommendation I read said “if there’s a better value in the store, I don’t know what that is,” and I agree. Some of the Zinfandel grapes that went into this blend are from old vines over 100 years old, and were hand-pressed into french oak barrels. For less than $15 you won’t find a more meticulously crafted wine.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, Shebang Tenth Cuvee gets 4 corks!

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Matt the Miller’s Tavern! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

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