Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: Unshackled Red Blend

Normally when I see a new bottle of wine in an end-cap display I walk by, but this one caught my eye. A California red blend for less than $25, from The Prisoner wine company? Definitely worth a try.

The Prisoner Wine Company has become a top draw for people touring Napa. The tasting room is beautiful, unique, and state of the art, with some experiences inside that you just can’t do anywhere else. The flagship Prisoner wine is a best-seller, but is priced out of each for the casual wine-drinker. $50 is fine for a special occasion wine, or as a gift, but the majority of wine being sold is right around $20 a bottle or less. That’s why people are buzzing about Unshackled Red. With grapes sourced from Monterrey, Sonoma, San Benito and Paso Robles in the Central Coast, and Redwood Valley and Lake County in the North Coast, the blend is extremely Prisoner-like with Zinfandel, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, but it’s less than $25 a bottle.

When I opened the bottle, right away there were floral aromas of raspberry and blueberry. I expected a really ripe, fruity wine – but there was actually more spice than fruit to Unshackled. Supple flavors of spiced dried cherries and plum, with a gentle peppery feel that tickles the tongue, and a dry finish. The flavors are not as rich as The Prisoner, but this was a well-crafted wine at a good price.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, the 2018 Unshackled Red gets 3.9 corks. I really liked it, and would price it at $19.99 if I had that power. Pick up a bottle and let me know what you think!

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party coming soon! I host a wine dinner 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!

Local Weather